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Method Overloading in Java

If a class have multiple methods by same name but different parameters, it is known as Method Overloading.

If we have to perform only one operation, having same name of the methods increases the readability of the program.

Suppose you have to perform addition of the given numbers but there can be any number of arguments, if you write the method such as a(int,int) for two parameters, and b(int,int,int) for three parameters then it may be difficult for you as well as other programmers to understand the behaviour of the method because its name differs. So, we perform method overloading to figure out the program quickly.

java method overloading

Advantage of method overloading?

Method overloading increases the readability of the program.

Different ways to overload the method

There are two ways to overload the method in java
  1. By changing number of arguments
  2. By changing the data type

In java, Methood Overloading is not possible by changing the return type of the method.


1)Example of Method Overloading by changing the no. of arguments

In this example, we have created two overloaded methods, first sum method performs addition of two numbers and second sum method performs addition of three numbers.

Output:30
       40


2)Example of Method Overloading by changing data type of argument

In this example, we have created two overloaded methods that differs in data type. The first sum method receives two integer arguments and second sum method receives two double arguments.

Output:21.0
       40

Que) Why Method Overloaing is not possible by changing the return type of method?

In java, method overloading is not possible by changing the return type of the method because there may occur ambiguity. Let's see how ambiguity may occur:

because there was problem:

int result=obj.sum(20,20); //Here how can java determine which sum() method should be called


Can we overload main() method?

Yes, by method overloading. You can have any number of main methods in a class by method overloading. Let's see the simple example:

Output:main() method invoked
       10

Method Overloading and TypePromotion

One type is promoted to another implicitly if no matching datatype is found. Let's understand the concept by the figure given below:

method overloading with type promotion

As displayed in the above diagram, byte can be promoted to short, int, long, float or double. The short datatype can be promoted to int,long,float or double. The char datatype can be promoted to int,long,float or double and so on.

Example of Method Overloading with TypePromotion

Output:40
       60

Example of Method Overloading with TypePromotion if matching found

If there are matching type arguments in the method, type promotion is not performed.

Output:int arg method invoked
       

Example of Method Overloading with TypePromotion in case ambiguity

If there are no matching type arguments in the method, and each method promotes similar number of arguments, there will be ambiguity.

Output:Compile Time Error
       

One type is not de-promoted implicitly for example double cannot be depromoted to any type implicitely.