AskDefine | Define iterate

Dictionary Definition

iterate v : to say, state, or perform again; "She kept reiterating her request" [syn: repeat, reiterate, ingeminate, restate, retell]

User Contributed Dictionary



Latin iterare


  • /'ɪtəreɪt/


  1. In the context of "computing|mathematics": to perform or repeat an action on each item in a set or on the results of each such prior action
    The max() function iterates through the data to find the highest value.


  1. In the context of "mathematics": a function that iterates
    f2(x0) is the second iterate of x0 under f.

Extensive Definition

Iteration means the act of repeating.


Iteration in mathematics may refer to the process of iterating a function, or to the techniques used in iterative methods for solving numerical problems.


Iteration in computing is the repetition of a process within a computer program. It can be used both as a general term, synonymous with repetition, and to describe a specific form of repetition with a mutable state.
When used in the first sense, recursion is an example of iteration, but typically using a recursive notation, which is typically not the case for iteration.
However, when used in the second (more restricted) sense, iteration describes the style of programming used in imperative programming languages. This contrasts with recursion, which has a more declarative approach.
Here is an example of iteration, in imperative pseudocode:
var i, a := 0 // initialize a before iteration for i from 1 to 3 print a // the number 6 is printed
In this program fragment, the value of the variable i changes over time, taking the values 1, 2 and 3. This changing value—or mutable state—is characteristic of iteration.
Iteration can be approximated using recursive techniques in functional programming languages. The following example is in Scheme. Note that the following is recursive (a special case of iteration) because the definition of "how to iterate", the iter function, calls itself in order to solve the problem instance. Specifically it uses tail recursion, which is properly supported in languages like Scheme so it does not use large amounts of stack space.
(define (sum n) (define (iter n i) (if (= n 1) i (iter (- n 1)(+ n i)))) (iter n 1))
An iterator is an object that wraps iteration.

Project management

Iterations in a project context may refer to the technique of developing and delivering incremental components of business functionality. This is most often associated with agile software development, but could potentially be any material. A single iteration results in one or more bite-sized but complete packages of project work that can perform some tangible business function. Multiple iterations recurse to create a fully integrated product. This is often compared with the waterfall model approach.
iterate in Bulgarian: Итерация
iterate in Czech: Iterace
iterate in Danish: Iterativ
iterate in German: Iteration
iterate in Spanish: Iteración
iterate in French: Itération
iterate in Hebrew: איטרציה
iterate in Italian: Iterazione
iterate in Japanese: ループ (プログラミング)
iterate in Dutch: Iteratie
iterate in Polish: Iteracja
iterate in Portuguese: Iteração
iterate in Russian: Итерация
iterate in Swedish: Iteration
iterate in Ukrainian: Ітерація

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

battologize, fill, give an encore, go over, go through, ingeminate, pad, practice, reaffirm, reassert, recapitulate, recite, recount, rehash, rehearse, reissue, reiterate, renew, reprint, reprise, resay, restate, resume, retail, retell, review, reword, run over, say over, say over again, sum up, summarize, tautologize
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