In: Wah, Benjamin W., ed.
Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering.
John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ, pp. 1334-1344.
(Full text available)
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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