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1 definition found
 for call-by-name
From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018) :

      (CBN) (Normal order reduction, leftmost, outermost
     reduction).  An argument passing convention (first provided
     by ALGOL 60?)  where argument expressions are passed
     unevaluated.  This is usually implemented by passing a pointer
     to a thunk - some code which will return the value of the
     argument and an environment giving the values of its free
     This evaluation strategy is guaranteed to reach a normal
     form if one exists.
     When used to implement functional programming languages,
     call-by-name is usually combined with graph reduction to
     avoid repeated evaluation of the same expression.  This is
     then known as call-by-need.
     The opposite of call-by-name is call-by-value where
     arguments are evaluated before they are passed to a function.
     This is more efficient but is less likely to terminate in the
     presence of infinite data structures and recursive
     Arguments to macros are usually passed using call-by-name.

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