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Where and how can I use memoization in JavaScript?

What is memoization?

Memoization is a commonly used technique that can help speed up your code significantly. It relies on a cache to store results for previously completed units of work. The purpose of the cache is to avoid performing the same work more than once, speeding up subsequent calls of time-consuming functions.

Criteria for using memoization

Based on its definition, we can easily deduce some criteria to help us discover good candidates for memoization:

Memoize a function

It's fairly easy to roll up your own memoization function in JavaScript. For this implementation, we'll use a Map to store the results. The Map object holds key-value pairs and remembers the original insertion order of the keys. This makes it suitable for memoization, as we can use the function's arguments as keys and the results as values.

const memoize = fn => {
  const cache = new Map();
  const cached = function (val) {
    return cache.has(val)
      ? cache.get(val)
      : cache.set(val,, val)) && cache.get(val);
  cached.cache = cache;
  return cached;

// This function is slow and will benefit from memoization
const anagrams = str => {
  if (str.length <= 2) return str.length === 2 ? [str, str[1] + str[0]] : [str];
  return str
      (acc, letter, i) =>
          anagrams(str.slice(0, i) + str.slice(i + 1)).map(val => letter + val)

const anagramsCached = memoize(anagrams);

// takes a long time
// returns virtually instantly since it's cached

Using a Proxy object for memoization

While the previous example is a good way to implement memoization, JavaScript's Proxy object provides an interesting alternative via the use of the handler.apply() trap.

Using the trap, we can intercept the function call and check if the result is already cached. If it is, we return the cached result. If it's not, we call the original function and cache the result before returning it.

const memoize = fn => new Proxy(fn, {
  cache: new Map(),
  apply (target, thisArg, argsList) {
    let cacheKey = argsList.toString();
      this.cache.set(cacheKey, target.apply(thisArg, argsList));
    return this.cache.get(cacheKey);

const fibonacci = n => (n <= 1 ? 1 : fibonacci(n - 1) + fibonacci(n - 2));
const memoizedFibonacci = memoize(fibonacci);

for (let i = 0; i < 100; i ++)
  fibonacci(30);                      // ~5000ms
for (let i = 0; i < 100; i ++)
  memoizedFibonacci(30);              // ~50ms

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