Implementing Memoization in Javascript

Published on Apr 21, 2019
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What is Memoization anyway?

The ability to return the previously calculated value without recalculating them, on receiving same set of inputs again is basically what memoization is.

So whenever a Function receives the same set of input arguments it checks in its cache variable if there is a value already exists for it then returns that value or does a recalculation.

  • It Helps in reducing the computation time.
  • Faster render time


  • There is a summation function that adds two numbers.
  • We create our own memoization function.
  • Use memoization function as Higher Order Function and create an output function.
  • Call the above Output function instead, when we need to call summation function.

Let's get Started.

Function summation is our function that we are going to Memoize. It is a simple function which adds two numbers and returns the result.

// Function that sums two numbers
const summation = function (a, b) {
 if (typeof(a) === 'number' && typeof(b) === 'number') {
   console.log('From Summation function');
   return a + b;
  return "Invalid Entry";
  • The memoize function takes in a function fnToMemoize as a single Argument and returns a function which can be called upon.
  • memoizedCache is an object where we cache our new results.
  • constructPropertyFromArgs is used to create a unique property name based on the argument and function we pass.We will see about that in details in next Section.
  • manageInsertion is used to delete the property from the cache object if the maximum size is reached.(default length : 10)
  • First we check if the property is present in the memoizedCache, if yes, we return result from memoizedCache or we actually call the function fnToMemoize and store the result in the memoizedCache.
  • While taking the value from the cache we move the property name in insertionOrder to the last (Indicating they are used recently).
//  `memoize` function  decides if it has to return cached value or call the summation function
const memoize = function (fnToMemoize, cacheSize) {
  if (!(typeof fnToMemoize === 'function')) {
    throw new Error('Argument passed to memoize function should be a function');
  const memoizedCache = {         // A closure object
    insertionOrder: []            // To preserve the order of Insertion, so that FIFO can be implemented
  return function(...args) {
    const propToCheck = constructPropertyFromArgs(fnToMemoize, args);
    if (!memoizedCache[propToCheck]) {
      memoizedCache[propToCheck] = fnToMemoize(...args);
      manageInsertion(memoizedCache, propToCheck, cacheSize);
    } else  {
      console.log('From Cache ');
      // LRU logic implementation, moving the current element name to end of the array
      const currIndex = memoizedCache.insertionOrder.indexOf(propToCheck);
      memoizedCache.insertionOrder.splice(currIndex, 1);
    return memoizedCache[propToCheck];

How do we construct a property name?

This is crucial, as improper naming may result in unexpected behaviour of the app.

The memoize function can act as a generic function, through which we can memoize any of our other functions that are lying in the same scope.So, in order to avoid misbehaviour we need to have unique names to our functions.

Our Property name is a combination of function name and arguments separated by '|' which acts as a delimiter.

Why do we need Delimiter?

Let's say if we don't use a Delimiter and just join the string.

Here, the Property name for add (fn, 1, 2, 3) will be fn123. And, the Property name for add (fn, 12, 3) will also be fn123.

So output of add(fn, 12,3) will be 6 which is calculated from the previous execution.

// To create a Property name from the arguments passed to the function
const constructPropertyFromArgs = function (fnToMemoize, args) {
  let propToCheck = [];
  propToCheck = propToCheck.concat(, args);
  return propToCheck.join('|'); // A delimiter to join args

Why do we need to specify the cacheSize?

Let's say if we call our summation function for 1000 different parameters, then our memoizedCache object's length would be 1000 causing higher amount of wastage in space.

To avoid this by default we set the size of the object to 10 and the user can override it as per their need thus solving this issue.

How do we remove the element?

Best way would be to use LRU algorithm.Here, I keep track of element's insertion order in insertionOrder property and if the length is maxed out , I get the first value using shift and delete the property with that name from the memoizedCache object.

Note: We move the property name to the end of the array, if the value is taken from the cache object.

// To manage space complexity
// To maintain only specified number of elements in the cache and deleting the others using First In First Out approach
const manageInsertion = function(memoizedCache, propToCheck, cacheSize = 10) {
  if (memoizedCache.insertionOrder.length >= cacheSize) {
    const oldestElementName = memoizedCache.insertionOrder.shift();
    delete memoizedCache[oldestElementName];

Finally we pass our summation function to our memoize function that returns a function which is stored in memSummation and we specify the cache size to be 2. Which means size of our memoizedCache object will never be greater than 2.

Then we call memSummation twice.

const memSummation = memoize(summation, 2);  // `memoize` is a HOC

console.log(memSummation(10, 50));
console.log(memSummation(10, 50));

The output:

First console.log() returns output after execution whereas the second one is returned from the cache.

 "From Summation function"


 "From Cache "


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