doshin - 4 months ago 17

Python Question

I've seen some other similar topics, but I can't apply the solutions to fix the error given by the following code:

`def mult_recursive(a,b):`

if b == 1:

return a

else:

return a + mult_recursive(a,b-1)

def factorial_recursive(n):

if n == 0:

return 1

elif n == 1:

return 1

else:

return mult_recursive(n,factorial_recursive(n-1))

print (factorial_recursive(8))

It gives an error only if you choose an n >= 8. n in range 0 to 7 works fine.

Would be great if you could give an answer on why I get that error.

Thank you.

PS1: the code works fine for all numbers if you swap the mult_recursive fct's arguments

(n,factorial_recursive(n-1)) => (factorial_recursive(n - 1),n)

PS2: I know that there are simpler and better ways to compute factorials, but I just want to understand why that error starting at n=8.

Answer

You get that error because you've exceeded maximum recursion depth. What exactly you misunderstand? Go line by line and calculate the depth of calls you make. If you exceed max recursion depth, you're done. It seems that for `n==8`

you exceed it. For lowers you don't.

And that makes sense, since for `n==8`

you have `factorial_recursive(n-1) == 5040`

and thus `mult_recursive(n, factorial_recursive(n-1))`

does `5040`

nested calls. This is definitely too much.

For `n == 7`

you only do `720`

nested calls. By default max recursion is `1000`

(might depend on your machine/python version) so there you go.