memo function

memo function

(Or "memoised function") A function that remembers which arguments it has been called with and the result returned and, if called with the same arguments again, returns the result from its memory rather than recalculating it.

Memo functions were invented by Professor Donald Michie of Edinburgh University. The idea was further developed by Robin Popplestone in his Pop2 language long before it was ever worked into LISP.

This same principle is found at the hardware level in computer architectures which use a cache to store recently accessed memory locations.

A Common Lisp package by Marty Hall <>

["'Memo' functions: and machine learning", Donald Michie, Nature, 218, 19-22, 1968].
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (
References in periodicals archive ?
For example, users can now export mapping configurations to facilitate analysis, documentation and archiving and the memo function has been expanded, improving compliance breach communications.
Not to be out done on electronic features, Newton, Iowa-based Amana introduced the Messenger, a side-by-side refrigerator with a built-in voice memo function that allows family members to leave messages for each other.
Other novel features include a voice memo function, which allows up to 8 minutes of messages or conversations to be recorded.
The World Travel Alarm also has a memo function; a password function keeps data private.
Text operates as a memo function, allowing the creation of text lists, which can then be sorted alphabetically.
The phone also offers Super-Vox, which automatically disconnects the answerer once the calling party has hung up, a messaging length selector and memo function for use as an electronic memo pad.
This device also comes with FM radio and voice memo functions. Expect up to 8.5 hours from the one AAA battery.
It has built-in address book and memo functions, plus a 35-watt, four-channel car stereo with digital equalizer and audio CD/CD-ROM player.