How do i use CRTP in C++ to prevent the overhead of virtual member functions?

You will find two ways.

The first is as simple as indicating the interface statically for that structure of types:

template <class Derived>

struct base 

struct my_type : base<my_type> needed to compile.

struct your_type : base<your_type> needed to compile.

The 2nd the first is by staying away from using the reference-to-base or pointer-to-base idiom and perform the wiring at compile-time. While using above definition, you could have template functions that appear to be such as these:

template <class T> // Its deduced at compile-time

void bar(base<T> &lifier obj) is going to do static dispatch

struct not_derived_from_base  // notice, not based on base

// ...

my_type my_instance

your_type your_instance

not_derived_from_base invalid_instance

bar(my_instance) // will call

bar(your_instance) // will call

bar(invalid_instance) // compile error, cannot deduce correct overload

So mixing the dwellingOruser interface definition and also the compile-time type deduction inside your functions enables you to definitely do static dispatch rather than dynamic dispatch. This is actually the essence of static polymorphism.

I have been searching for decent discussions of CRTP myself. Todd Veldhuizen's Approaches for Scientific C++ is a superb resource with this (1.3) and several other advanced techniques like expression templates.

Also, I discovered you could read the majority of Coplien's original C++ Gems article at Google books. Maybe that's still the situation.

I needed to lookup CRTP. Getting done that, however, I discovered some stuff about Static Polymorphism. I suspect that this is actually the response to your question.

It works out that ATL uses this pattern quite extensively.

This Wikipedia answer has all that's necessary. Namely:

template <class Derived> struct Base

    static void static_func()


struct Derived : Base<Derived>

Although I'm not sure just how much this really buys you. The overhead of the virtual function call is (compiler dependent, obviously):

  • Memory: One function pointer per virtual function
  • Runtime: One function pointer call

As the overhead of CRTP static polymorphism is:

  • Memory: Duplication of Base per template instantiation
  • Runtime: One function pointer call + whatever static_cast does

By way of strangely enough recurring template pattern you are able to implement the static polymorphism. You'll find a good example on wikipedia.