Headline

A data structure maintaining ongoing calls in a program

Illustration

Consider the following Language:Java program for illustration:

public class Demo {
	public static int max(int x, int y) {
		if (x>y)
			return x;
		else 
			return y;
	}
	public static void main(String[] args) {
		int x = 101;
		int y = 88;
		int z = 42;
		out.println(max(y, z));
		out.println(max(x, y));		
	}
}

Both the main and the max function declare variables x and y. When main calls max, then the call stack helps avoiding confusion between these variables of the same name (and type). That is upon starting the called method, a return address is saved and a "frame" for the local variables is created. Without such an extra frame, the fist invocation of max would override the variable x in main.

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