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program flowchart

Along with structure diagrams, a program flow chart is a widely used representation method for describing software structures. The program flow chart notation (PAP) uses graphical symbols that are connected by lines so that corresponding control structures can be mapped. The defined program flow symbols are standardized in DIN 66001.

Program flow charts allow the graphical description of algorithms using the elements shown in the figure (excerpt). However, this type of representation has some decisive disadvantages.



chart symbols

chart symbols

The control flow can be formulated in any complicated way, in particular also deviating from the rules of structured programming, since the use of arrows for the representation of the control flow is not subject to any restrictions. The elementary structures of structured programming (sequence, selection, repetition) must be specially constructed. This often makes the control flow very confusing and thus difficult to verify. Labels from different levels of abstraction can be chosen as box inscriptions. There is little space for explanations in the individual elements.

Program flow charts are thus only suitable for the representation of algorithmic processes if one is aware of their limitations and makes only very disciplined use of them.

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Englisch: program flowchart
Updated at: 07.05.2013
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