Ever wondered how computer programs are designed? It all starts with two important tools: algorithms and flowcharts. While they might seem similar, they serve different roles in programming.

In this blog, we'll explain the basic differences between algorithms and flowcharts in simple terms. We'll explore what they are, what they do, and how they help programmers solve problems and create programs.

What is an Algorithm?

Algorithms are the rules that tell you what to do, step by step, to solve a problem or task. An algorithm is a finite number of steps that help us solve a particular problem.

It usually starts with an input, then passes through instructions or steps to give the desired results or output.

An algorithm can be represented using flowcharts, pseudocode, or any programming language.

Example

There are some commonly known algorithms in computer science.

Sorting algorithms: Sorting algorithms help us to arrange the data group in monotonic order. There are different sorting algorithms like Merge sort, Quick sort, Insertion sort, Bubble Sort etc.

Searching algorithms: Searching algorithms search elements or groups of elements from data collection. Examples of searching algorithms include Binary search, Linear search, etc.

Greedy algorithms: These algorithms are used in optimization problems. These algorithms are easy to understand and implement. It always takes locally optimal paths to give us the most optimum one.

Divide and conquer algorithms: This type of algorithm uses the method in which we divide the big problems into sub-problems until these sub-problems become small enough to be solved directly.

Hashing Algorithms: Hashing algorithms are widely used for security purposes in cryptography. We can use these hashing algorithms to generate Fix size output string by giving input of arbitrary size.

Please see this article to learn more about algorithms.

What is Flowchart?

The graphical representation of an algorithm is called a flowchart and is used to understand it more clearly and visually. We generally use block diagrams to draw the flowchart of an algorithm.

The flowcharts help us to visualize our algorithms. Since it is a pictorial representation of the algorithm, it helps to understand it better.

Types of Flowcharts:

Data Flowchart: The data flowchart is used to analyze the data. This flowchart makes us understand how data enters and leaves the system. Specifically, it helps us to analyze the project's structural features.

Process Flowchart: This kind of flowchart displays each step that goes into producing a product. In general, it gives a method to evaluate the final result.

Business Process Modeling Diagram: Using this flowchart or diagram, we can understand the business process analytically and simplify the ideas necessary for understanding business operations and the flow of information.

While making the flowchart, we used different shapes:

Oval: We use an oval shape in the flowchart to show the terminal state at the start or end.

Parallelogram: The program instructions that accept input from input devices and output from output devices are displayed using parallelograms.

Rectangle: Rectangles are used to represent arithmetic operations.

Diamond: Diamonds represent the decisions we make during a process.

Lines or arrows: Lines or arrows represent the sequence in which the instruction flow will go in a flowchart.

Algorithmsare the rules that tell you what to do step by step to solve a problem or task. An algorithm is a finite number of steps that help us solve a particular problem.

Where is the algorithm used?

Algorithms are used in multiple industries like computer science, finance, IoT, Artificial Intelligence, logistics, etc. These algorithms help in automation, problem-solving, and producing new innovations.

What are the properties of algorithms?

Some of the most important properties of algorithms include finite steps in execution, definiteness, effectiveness, correctness, readability of the algorithm, modularity, scalability, adaptability, etc.

Can an algorithm be a flowchart?

An algorithm can be represented in the form of a flowchart. A flowchart is the representation of the algorithm but in the form of shapes and arrows rather than instructions and steps.

What is the difference between algorithm, flowchart, and pseudocode?

An algorithm is a step-by-step procedure of the program, a flowchart is the visual representation of the program using shapes and arrows, and the pseudocode is a brief description of the program code using similar code blocks.

On what basis can you differentiate between an algorithm and a flowchart?

Algorithms and Flowcharts are used to design the steps to be followed to solve problems or any task. The difference between algorithms and flowcharts is in terms of their Representation, Complexity, Flexibility, Implementation, construction, etc.

Conclusion

In this blog, we have discussed the difference between Algorithm and Flowchart. Understanding the difference between algorithms and flowcharts is key to mastering the art of programming and problem-solving. While algorithms provide step-by-step instructions for solving a problem, flowcharts offer a visual representation of these steps. Both are essential tools in the programmer's toolkit, working hand in hand to bring ideas to life.

You can learn more about algorithms and related concepts from these articles.

I hope you have enjoyed the article and gained insight into the differences between algorithms and flowcharts. You can refer to Guided Path for more content.

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