Definition:Flow Chart

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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.



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 "":