Python recursion

Function inPythonCan claim to be. This is recursion. In many cases, it can be very useful.

A common way to explain recursion is to use factorial calculations.

The factorial of a number is a numbernBen-1, Multiplied byn-2…And so on until it reaches the number1:

3! = 3 * 2 * 1 = 6
4! = 4 * 3 * 2 * 1 = 24
5! = 5 * 4 * 3 * 2 * 1 = 120

Using recursion we can write a function that calculates the factorial of any number:

def factorial(n):
    if n == 1: return 1
    return n * factorial(n-1)

print(factorial(3)) # 6 print(factorial(4)) # 24 print(factorial(5)) # 120

If inside the factorial() function you call factorial(n) instead of factorial(n-1), you are going to cause an infinite recursion. Python by default will halt recursions at 1000 calls, and when this limit is reached, you will get a RecursionError error.

Recursion is helpful in many places, and it helps us simplify our code when there’s no other optimal way to do it, so it’s good to know this technique.


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