# Why is this blowing the stack, thought it was tail-recursive...

Fuzzyman fuzzyman at gmail.com
Sun Jul 13 15:44:00 CEST 2008

```On Jul 13, 7:56 am, Steven D'Aprano <st... at REMOVE-THIS-
cybersource.com.au> wrote:
> On Sat, 12 Jul 2008 19:25:18 -0400, Terry Reedy wrote:
> > ssecorp wrote:
> >> def fib(n):
> >>     def fibt(a, b, n):
> >>         if n <= 1:
> >>             return b
> >>         else:
> >>             return fibt(b, a + b, n - 1)
> >>     if n == 0:
> >>         return 0
> >>     else:
> >>         return fibt(0, 1, n);
>
> >> and can memoization speed up this even more? tesintg with memoization
> >> doesnt really say anything because it is so fast it is instant anyway.
>
> > Except for the fact that a+b gets slower as a and b get bigger, this
> > would already be linear time in n.  Memoization (here by means of a
> > linear list) only helps if the list is preserved and one makes repeated
> > requests for various fib values.
>
> > I am just curious what input you tried that blew the stack?  It had to
> > be pretty large.
>
> No, not really. Try it for yourself: on my system, I get RuntimeError:
> maximum recursion depth exceeded with fib(999).
>
> fib(999) is a large number, with 208 digits, but not that large:
>
> 268638100244853593861467272021429239676166093189869523401
> 231759976179817002478816893383696544833565641918278561614
> 433563129766736422103503246348504103776803673341511728991
> 69723197082763985615764450078474174626L
>
> --
> Steven

The default CPython recursion limit is 1000 - so hitting it with an
input of 999 is not that surprising...

You can set a higher limit with sys.setrecursionlimit(...)

Michael Foord
http://www.ironpythoninaction.com/

```