School of Computing

Functional programming

Olaf Chitil

In Benjamin W. Wah, editor, Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering, volume 2, pages 182-196. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ, January 2009.


Functional programming is a programming paradigm like object-oriented programming and logic programming. Functional programming comprises both a specific programming style and a class of programming languages that encourage and support this programming style. Functional programming enables the programmer to describe an algorithm on a high-level, in terms of the problem domain, without having to deal with machine-related details. A program is constructed from functions that only map inputs to outputs, without any other effect on the program state. Thus a function will always return the same output, regardless of when and in which context the function is used. These functions provide clear interfaces, separate concerns and are easy to reuse. A small and simple set of highly orthogonal language constructs assists in writing modular programs.

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Bibtex Record

author = {Olaf Chitil},
title = {Functional Programming},
month = {January},
year = {2009},
pages = {182-196},
keywords = {determinacy analysis, Craig interpolants},
note = {},
doi = {},
url = {},
    publication_type = {incollection},
    submission_id = {2623_1235411221},
    ISBN = {978-0-471-38393-2},
    booktitle = {Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering},
    publisher = {John Wiley & Sons},
    editor = {Benjamin W. Wah},
    volume = {2},
    address = {Hoboken, NJ},

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Last Updated: 21/03/2014