Functional programming, also known as FP, is a programming paradigm that is based around a declarative and mathematical approach to computations and programming. Functional programming is different from imperative programming in its approach to problem-solving, which emphasizes the evaluation of expressions rather than the execution of commands.
Functional programming is based around the idea of expressing tasks as mathematical functions, which can be composed in a declarative way. This means that instead of providing instructions for performing a computation, the programmer specifies a computation’s properties at a higher level. To this end, the evaluation of expressions and the representation of data in a functional language is often evaluated at a higher level of abstraction, allowing a more concise and efficient approach to programming.
Functional programming usually consists of a collection of functions that can be composed into a functional program. Common features of functional programming languages include the use of variables, functions, and data types. Variables are treated as pieces of data that can be read and written by the program. Functions are pieces of code that take in one or more arguments and return one or more values. Data types are structures used to represent data.
Functional programming languages are often used in high-performance computing, as they allow for efficient solutions to be expressed in a shorter amount of time and with fewer operations. Additionally, due to their declarative nature, applications written in a functional programming language are typically less prone to errors caused by the manipulation of data and thus can be more reliable.
Functional programming languages have become increasingly popular in recent years, with languages such as Haskell, OCaml, and F# being used for many applications. They are often used when trying to solve complex problems, as their declarative style allows for the solution to be written in a concise and efficient way.