circular reference


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circular reference

[′sər·kyə·lər ′ref·rəns]
(computer science)
A situation created by a programming error in which two or more entities each refer to the other so that the execution of the program is carried on endlessly with no resolution.

circular reference

(1) A programming conflict whereby the operation of each of two routines requires the result from the other routine. See recursion.

(2) In a spreadsheet, a conflict in which the formula computes the cell that the formula itself is located in. For example, a formula in cell A9 that sums the values of "A7 + A8 + A9" is a circular reference.


A Spreadsheet Warning
Circular references are identified in spreadsheets. However, this Excel example does not indicate which cell is the problem.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Although cell BB4 and its dependent cells are now calculating correctly, from the left bottom of the window, you see there are still circular references. This time once again in the Formula Auditing group on the FORMULAS tab, select Error Checking, Circular References, $AD$60 (see "Finding the Circular References").
* Avoid circular references. These can behave in unexpected ways and, once one is introduced (maybe deliberately), it's possible to introduce other circular references without the usual warning.
What the Music Said suffers from its reliance on circular references to the discourse of cultural critique where evidence apropos to the music itself might appear.
The sort also detects two critical errors that are difficult or impossible to detect by hand: (a) missing trees, i.e., references to trees that do not exist or have not yet been located; and (b) circular references, i.e., references (perhaps through a long series of trees) back to the target tree itself.
The audit command uses the active worksheet to: report errors, including references to blanks, circular references, and names with bad references; provide a map, which in grid form shows the placement of formulas, numbers, text, logicals, and errors; provide cell path tracing; and provide basic information.
Although this method eliminates the links, it can cause circular references errors.