Why is this toString() method causing StackOverFlowError?

  • A+

I have understood from this and this answer, the possible scenarios where your code could get into an infinite loop resulting into stackOverFlowError but I don't understand how the same scenario is getting replicated here,

public class A {   private B b = new B();   @Override   public String toString() {       return "b "+b;   } }  public class B {   private A a = new A();   @Override   public String toString() {       return "";   } }  public class StackoverflowErrorTest {   public static void main(String[] args) {      A a = new A();      System.out.println(a);   } } 

This code is generating below stack trace:-

Exception in thread "main" java.lang.StackOverflowError at stackoverflowerror.B.<init>(B.java:5) at stackoverflowerror.A.<init>(A.java:5) . . . 

As per my understanding, When I am printing object 'a' in the main method, it will invoke the toString method of A class, in that method I am returning the object of B class which would implicitly call the toString method of B class. Now, in the toString method of B class, all I am returning is an empty string. Then how and where is the scope of infinite loop coming into picture here. Please explain.


It enters the endless cycle of events. The method toString() is innocent in this case:

  1. The method main creates an instance of the class A
  2. The class A creates an instance of the class B upon initialization
  3. The class B creates an instance of the class A upon initialization
  4. Go to the step 2

The local variables are allocated on the stack and the StackOverflowError is a result of a bad recursive call.

Thrown when a stack overflow occurs because an application recurses too deeply.

Recommended solution, remove the reference to the class A in the class B because it's unused:

public class B {      @Override     public String toString() {         return "";     } } 


:?: :razz: :sad: :evil: :!: :smile: :oops: :grin: :eek: :shock: :???: :cool: :lol: :mad: :twisted: :roll: :wink: :idea: :arrow: :neutral: :cry: :mrgreen: