BrainFuck part 11 - Iterative and recursive ways


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A first recursive way

Now, let's try to implement a recursion. The recursive call will be

factorial(N): return factorial(N-1) x N

Let's start

  • Memory: 0 N 0 0 0 0
  • Cursor: second cell
  • Input: any


  • while N is not null
    • copy N-1 on the right
    • go to the copy
  • loop
  • write 1 (result for N=0)
  • go to previous N value
  • while there is a N value
    • multiply N by result
  • loop

Note: this looks like

  • Generate in memory values N, N-1, N-2, ..., 3, 2, 1, 0
  • unwind by multiplying values to current result


[                         while current N is not null
  [->+>+<<]>>[-<<+>>]<-   copy N and subtract 1
]                         and loop on this new value
+                         generate result
<[                        while current N is not null
  -[>[->+>+<<]>[-<+>]<<-] multiply result by N minus 1
  >>>[-<<+>>]<<[-<+>]     and add result one more to get result x N
<<]                       loop on next N

Minified version


Final state

  • Memory: 0 N!
  • Cursor: first cell
  • Input: unchanged
  • Output: unchanged

Test program

This programs prints x, code 120 = 5!

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