Overloaded sub-programs, also known as function overloading, is a feature in many programming languages that allows multiple functions or subprograms to have the same name but different parameter lists.
This means that you can define multiple subprograms with the same name but with different input parameters or return types.
When a program calls an overloaded subprogram, the compiler or interpreter determines the appropriate subprogram to invoke based on the arguments provided.
Here are some key points regarding overloaded sub-programs:
1. Function Name Reuse:
Overloaded subprograms enable you to reuse the same function name for different operations or variations of a task. This can lead to cleaner and more expressive code by using the same name for related functionalities.
2. Different Parameter Lists:
Overloaded subprograms must have different parameter lists to distinguish them. This can include differences in the number of parameters, the types of parameters, or both.
3. Compile-Time Resolution:
The resolution of which overloaded subprogram to invoke is typically determined at compile time based on the arguments passed in the function call. The compiler matches the arguments with the available overloaded versions and selects the most appropriate one.
4. Return Type Overloading:
In some programming languages, such as C++, the return type of a function can also be part of the overloading criteria. This means that you can have two functions with the same name and parameter list but different return types.
Overloaded subprograms contribute to polymorphism, a concept in object-oriented programming that allows objects of different types to be treated uniformly. Polymorphism allows you to write code that can handle different types of inputs using the same function name, improving code reusability and flexibility.
6. Code Readability:
Overloaded subprograms can enhance code readability by providing intuitive function names that reflect their purpose or behavior. For example, you can have multiple “calculate” functions with different parameter lists, such as “calculate(int x)” and “calculate(int x, int y)”.