Recursion is a technique in computer science where a function calls itself in order to solve a problem. In data science and algorithms, recursion is often used to solve problems that can be broken down into smaller, similar sub-problems.
Some common examples of problems that can be solved using recursion in data science and algorithms include:
Tree Traversal: Recursion can be used to traverse a tree-like data structure, such as a binary tree, to visit all of its nodes.
Sorting: Some sorting algorithms, such as merge sort, use recursion to sort arrays of data.
Backtracking: Recursion can be used to solve problems that require exploring multiple possible solutions, such as the traveling salesman problem.
Divide and Conquer: Recursion can be used to solve problems by breaking them down into smaller sub-problems and solving them recursively.
Dynamic Programming: Recursion can be used to solve problems that have an overlapping sub-structure, such as the Fibonacci sequence or the Longest Common Subsequence.
Recursion can be a powerful tool for solving complex problems, but it is important to ensure that the function terminates, or it will result in an infinite loop. To ensure termination, a base case must be defined, which is a simple case that can be solved without recursion, and the function must eventually reach this base case.