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Is a directed graph different from a flow graph?

I’m trying to understand directed graphs in a more applied way, especially in the context of the dataflow programming paradigm. Is the following flow chart a directed graph?

(B.R. Sutherland (1966). "The On-line Graphical Specification of Computer Procedures". MIT)

Is a directed graph essentially a flow diagram? Or is a flow diagram a type of directed graph?


I have made a change to my question based on comments from users and additional reading. I believe the example I have shown is called a Flow Graph. Is that correct?

So now my question is: Is a flow graph a type of directed graph?

Mathematics Asked on November 14, 2021

1 Answers

One Answer

A directed graph like any mathematical object, is a well-defined object. It has a definition, so that handed any other mathematical object $X$, we can say whether or not $X$ is an example of a graph.

But what is the definition of a flow chart? Until you give a precise definition of flow chart, it's not a mathematical object and it's impossible to say how it compares to a directed graph. Furthermore, there isn't necessarily a correct definition of a flow chart; you get to define a flow chart however you need, depending on what you're thinking about. For example do you need to flow chart to "terminate," where flowing throw the chart you hit a terminal vertex? or can you have loops in your flow chart?

Answered by Mike Pierce on November 14, 2021

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