10 Major Difference Between Flowchart And Algorithm (With Pictures)


Flowcharts and Algorithm are tools used by software developers when creating new programs. Get to understand the difference between Flowchart and algorithm. The basis of comparison includes: complexity, geometrical diagrams, and scope of usage, use, users, debugging, solutions, branching and looping.

What Is A flowchart?

A flowchart is a diagram, which graphically represents the steps a program takes to process data. It uses different geometric shapes to describe the various actions the program carries out. For example, a parallelogram may be used to indicate input and output; a diamond may indicate a logical decision while a rectangular box may be used to indicate a simple mathematical operation.

In many cases a programmer sketches a flowchart using pencil and paper or by connecting shapes on a computer screen with software. In a large system, flowcharts act as an important document for both system and individual programs, this is because it precisely summarizes a program’s functions in easy-to-understand symbols clearly explained in English. In any case the program encounters hiccups; it saves time on the part of the programmer since he will have to check the flowchart in a few minutes before examining the program.

What Is An Algorithm?

An algorithm is a well defined step-by-step process which is used in processing data (providing a solution to a particular problem). An algorithm accurately defines the steps a program takes to perform an operation. It includes input and output and logical comparisons.  When an algorithm is used on a computer, several operations such as additions and subtractions are combined to perform more complex mathematical operations.

Algorithms are generally written in a natural language or plain English language. Algorithms can also be presented by pseudo code, flowcharts, drakon-charts etc.

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Difference Between Algorithm And Flowchart In Tabular Form

Description  A flowchart is a diagram which represents different steps that can help in solving a problem. It is a diagram which is made step by step using different shapes and sizes of arrows which show their connection. An algorithm is a step by step process which is used in solving mathematical or sometimes computational problems. It can be expressed in any language including natural language, pseudocode and programming language.
Complexity Easy to create and be understood by any person. It is relatively difficult to be understood by a layman.  
Geometrical diagrams It uses various kinds of geometrical diagrams, boxes and symbols which are interlinked with arrows or lines. Algorithm does not incorporate any kind of geometrical figure.
Scope of Usage Flowchart can be used in various fields to represent a process.   Algorithm is basically used in the field of computer science and mathematics only.
Use It is used in analyzing, designing, documenting or managing a program in various fields. It can be used to define notion of decidability.
Users The user of flowchart does not require knowledge of a programming language to write and understand a flow chart. The user of does require knowledge of a programming language to write understand an algorithm.
Debugging Easier to debug errors. Difficult to debug errors.  
Implementation No rules are employed.   Predefined rules are implemented.  
Branching and Looping Easy to show branching and looping.   Difficult to show branching and looping.
Solution Solution is shown in graphical format.   Solution is shown in non computer language.

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