# Definition:Flow Chart

## Definition

A **flow chart** is a graphical depiction of an algorithm in which the steps are depicted in the form of boxes connected together by arrows.

Conventionally, the shape of the box representing a step is dependent upon the type of operation encapsulated within the step:

- Rectangular for an action

- A different shape, conventionally a diamond, for a condition.

On $\mathsf{Pr} \infty \mathsf{fWiki}$, the preferred shape for condition boxes is rectangular with rounded corners. This is to maximise ease and neatness of presentation: configuring a description inside a diamond shaped boxes in order for it to be aesthetically pleasing can be challenging and tedious.

Also on $\mathsf{Pr} \infty \mathsf{fWiki}$, it is part of the accepted style to implement the start and end points of the algorithm using a box of a particular style, in this case with a double border.

## Also known as

A **flow chart** is also known as a **flow diagram**.

## Also see

- Results about
**flow charts**can be found**here**.

## Examples

### Factorial

An example of a **flow chart**, which could be used to depict an algorithm to calculate a factorial, is shown below:

## Technical Note

**Flow charts** on $\mathsf{Pr} \infty \mathsf{fWiki}$ have been developed using the free online tool "draw.io":

## Sources

- 1971: George E. Andrews:
*Number Theory*... (previous) ... (next): $\text {3-5}$ The Use of Computers in Number Theory - 1997: Donald E. Knuth:
*The Art of Computer Programming: Volume 1: Fundamental Algorithms*(3rd ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): $\S 1.1$: Algorithms: Algorithm $\text{E}$