finite differencing ⇝

strength reduction

An optimisation where a function of some systematically changing variable is calculated more efficiently by using previous values of the function. In a procedural language this would apply to an expression involving a loop variable and in a declarative language it would apply to the argument of a recursive function. E.g.

	f x = ... (2**x) ... (f (x+1)) ...
	f x = f' x (2**x)
	      f ' x z = ... z ... (f' (x+1) 2*z) ...
Here the expensive operation (2**x) has been replaced by the cheaper 2*z in the recursive function f'. This maintains the invariant that z = 2**x for any call to f'.

Last updated: 1995-01-31