In this chapter we have looked at examples of several recursive algorithms. These algorithms were chosen to expose you to several different problems where recursion is an effective problem-solving technique. The key points to remember from this chapter are as follows:
- All recursive algorithms must have a base case.
- A recursive algorithm must change its state and make progress toward the base case.
- A recursive algorithm must call itself (recursively).
- Recursion can take the place of iteration in some cases.
- Recursive algorithms often map very naturally to a formal expression of the problem you are trying to solve.
- Recursion is not always the answer. Sometimes a recursive solution may be more computationally expensive than an alternative algorithm.