Topic: flow diagrams and flow charts

topics > computer science > programming > Group: program control

program representation

constructing proof and program together
data flow languages
entity-relationship database model
Goldstine and von Neumann consistency proof
goto statement
ladder diagram
Petri net
program listing
software documentation
structured flow diagram
visual programming


Flow diagrams have been used since the beginning of computer programming. Originally they were a complete representation of a program. They defined all interrelationships between names, values, control flow, local variables, and memory. The difficulty of building such diagrams resulted in diagrams showing control flow only.

As goto's came into disfavor, flow diagrams followed. Instead of undisciplined diagrams, flow diagrams are now limited to reducible structured flow charts. This added an embedding dimension missing in previous methods. Most flow diagrams specify only execution dependent control relations, but data interdependencies or other relationships may be more important. (cbb 5/80)

Subtopic: logic via existential graphs up

Quote: Peirce's system of existential graphs visually displayed an assertion and its logical structure [»lehmF12_1988]

Subtopic: flow chart -- context for text up

Quote: in a hybrid graphics language, the graphics provide the overview and context for textual details; e.g., flow charting [»joneTC4_1979b]
Quote: can base software languages on diagrams with text, e.g., flowcharts; useful for humans but difficult to process [»joneTC4_1979a]
Quote: a flow chart represents an algorithm by nodes for processes and links for the control function [»perlAJ4_1957]
Quote: use block schematic diagrams for subroutine planning; blocks of English joined by arrows; replace blocks by instructions [»turiA3_1951]
Quote: in block schematic diagrams, annotate test arrows with the tested item or loop count
Quote: produce a coding sheet and diagram that specify all details of the coding; allocate storage counters to the computation; indicate prints, interpolations, and checks [»compHU_1946]
QuoteRef: goldHH_1948 ;;87 flow diagrams with alternative box, two paths may merge, operation boxes variable boxes, remote connects (indexed gotos)

Subtopic: code from flow chart up

Quote: once a flow diagram is constructed, machine coding can be done independently for each operation box [»goldHH_1948, OK]

Subtopic: examples up

Quote: a Programmers_Assistant plan is a flow chart with arcs showing data flow between segment ports and control flow between segments [»wateRC1_1982]
QuoteRef: lechR_1973 ;;174 programs of rules (nodes) of label test, succeed action, succeed and fail branches. notation node: box around label with adjacent boxes around test and action --> succeed (fail)
Quote: COMPACT CHART control structure by lines/symbols and processes by sentences/phrases [»hanaS8_1980]
Quote: the routine calls in a GP part represent a flowchart of the problem [»randS_1957]
QuoteRef: pratRE3_1981 ;;Title: flowcharts which preserve topology

Subtopic: higraph -- state-transition chart up

Quote: represent a reactive system by a higraph, state-transition chart; gives allowed sequences of actions and conditions [»hareD5_1988]
Quote: a higraph is edges between blobs that represent set intersection, union, Cartesian product [»hareD5_1988]
Quote: represent Cartesian product in a higraph by partitioning two sets by dashed lines [»hareD5_1988]

Subtopic: problems with flowcharts up

Quote: the EDSAC group did not use flowcharts
Quote: EDSAC promoted use of previously tested, nested subroutines with parameters; seldom used flow diagrams; like structured programming
Quote: PDL replaces flowcharts; easier to produce, easier to change, easier to read
QuoteRef: cbb_1973 ;;flow charting does not show structure--is purely goto i.e., actually step back

Related Topics up

Group: program representation   (25 topics, 659 quotes)

Topic: constructing proof and program together (22 items)
Topic: data flow languages (33 items)
Topic: entity-relationship database model (22 items)
Topic: Goldstine and von Neumann consistency proof (6 items)
Topic: goto statement (25 items)
Topic: ladder diagram (5 items)
Topic: Petri net (44 items)
Topic: program listing (14 items)
Topic: software documentation (64 items)
Topic: structured flow diagram (36 items)
Topic: visual programming
(32 items)

Updated barberCB 3/06
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