Explain Algorithm and Flowchart with Examples (2023)

The algorithm and flowchart are two types of tools to explain the process of a program. In this page, we discuss the differences between an algorithm and a flowchart and how to create a flowchart to illustrate the algorithm visually.

Algorithms and flowcharts are two different tools that are helpful for creating new programs, especially in computer programming. An algorithm is a step-by-step analysis of the process, while a flowchart explains the steps of a program in a graphical way.

If you want to know the difference between alogorithm and flowchart directly, please click here.

  • Part 1: Definition of Algorithm
  • Part 2: Definition of Flowchart
  • Part 3: Difference between Algorithm and Flowchart
  • Part 4: Types of Algorithm
  • Part 5: Use Flowcharts to Represent Algorithms with Examples
  • Part 6: Conclusion

Part 1: Definition of Algorithm

Writing a logical step-by-step method to solve the problem is called the algorithm. In other words, an algorithm is a procedure for solving problems. In order to solve a mathematical or computer problem, this is the first step in the process.

An algorithm includes calculations, reasoning, and data processing. Algorithms can be presented by natural languages, pseudocode, and flowcharts, etc.

Explain Algorithm and Flowchart with Examples (1)

Part 2: Definition of Flowchart

A flowchart is the graphical or pictorial representation of an algorithm with the help of different symbols, shapes, and arrows to demonstrate a process or a program. With algorithms, we can easily understand a program. The main purpose of using a flowchart is to analyze different methods. Several standard symbols are applied in a flowchart:

Terminal Box - Start / EndExplain Algorithm and Flowchart with Examples (2)
Input / OutputExplain Algorithm and Flowchart with Examples (3)
Process / InstructionExplain Algorithm and Flowchart with Examples (4)
DecisionExplain Algorithm and Flowchart with Examples (5)
Connector / ArrowExplain Algorithm and Flowchart with Examples (6)

The symbols above represent different parts of a flowchart. The process in a flowchart can be expressed through boxes and arrows with different sizes and colors. In a flowchart, we can easily highlight certain elements and the relationships between each part.

Part 3: Difference between Algorithm and Flowchart

If you compare a flowchart to a movie, then an algorithm is the story of that movie. In other words, an algorithm is the core of a flowchart. Actually, in the field of computer programming, there are many differences between algorithm and flowchart regarding various aspects, such as the accuracy, the way they display, and the way people feel about them. Below is a table illustrating the differences between them in detail.

It is a procedure for solving problems.It is a graphic representation of a process.
The process is shown in step-by-step instruction.The process is shown in block-by-block information diagram.
It is complex and difficult to understand.It is intuitive and easy to understand.
It is convenient to debug errors.It is hard to debug errors.
The solution is showcased in natural language.The solution is showcased in pictorial format.
It is somewhat easier to solve complex problem.It is hard to solve complex problem.
It costs more time to create an algorithm.It costs less time to create a flowchart.

Part 4: Types of Algorithm

It is not surprising that algorithms are widely used in computer programming. However, it can be applied to solving mathematical problems and even in everyday life. Here comes a question: how many types of algorithms? According to Dr. Christoph Koutschan, a computer scientist working at the Research Institute for Symbolic Computation (RISC) in Austria, he has surveyed voting for the important types of algorithms. As a result, he has listed 32 crucial algorithms in computer science. Despite the complexity of algorithms, we can generally divide algorithms into six fundamental types based on their function.

Explain Algorithm and Flowchart with Examples (7)

1.Recursive Algorithm

It refers to a way to solve problems by repeatedly breaking down the problem into sub-problems of the same kind. The classic example of using a recursive algorithm to solve problems is the Tower of Hanoi.

2.Divide and Conquer Algorithm

Traditionally, the divide and conquer algorithm consists of two parts: 1. breaking down a problem into some smaller independent sub-problems of the same type; 2. finding the final solution of the original issues after solving these more minor problems separately.

The key points of the divide and conquer algorithm are:

  • If you can find the repeated sub-problems and the loop substructure of the original problem, you may quickly turn the original problem into a small, simple issue.
  • Try to break down the whole solution into various steps (different steps need different solutions) to make the process easier.
  • Are sub-problems easy to solve? If not, the original problem may cost lots of time.
3.Dynamic Programming Algorithm

Developed by Richard Bellman in the 1950s, the dynamic programming algorithm is generally used for optimization problems. In this type of algorithm, past results are collected for future use. Like the divide and conquer algorithm, a dynamic programming algorithm simplifies a complex problem by breaking it down into some simple sub-problems. However, the most significant difference between them is that the latter requires overlapping sub-problems, while the former doesn’t need to.

4.Greedy Algorithm

This is another way of solving optimization problems – greedy algorithm. It refers to always finding the best solution in every step instead of considering the overall optimality. That is to say, what he has done is just at a local optimum. Due to the limitations of the greedy algorithm, it has to be noted that the key to choosing a greedy algorithm is whether to consider any consequences in the future.

5.Brute Force Algorithm

The brute force algorithm is a simple and straightforward solution to the problem, generally based on the description of the problem and the definition of the concept involved. You can also use "just do it!" to describe the strategy of brute force. In short, a brute force algorithm is considered as one of the simplest algorithms, which iterates all possibilities and ends up with a satisfactory solution.

6.Backtracking Algorithm

Based on a depth-first recursive search, the backtracking algorithm focusing on finding the solution to the problem during the enumeration-like searching process. When it cannot satisfy the condition, it will return “backtracking” and tries another path. It is suitable for solving large and complicated problems, which gains the reputation of the “general solution method.” One of the most famous backtracking algorithm example it the eight queens puzzle.

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Part 5: Use Flowcharts to Represent Algorithms

Now that we have learned the definitions of algorithm and flowchart, how can we use a flowchart to represent an algorithm? To create an algorithm flowchart, we need to use a handy diagramming tool like EdrawMax to finish the work.

Algorithms are mainly used for mathematical and computer programs, whilst flowcharts can be used to describe all sorts of processes: business, educational, personal, and algorithms. So flowcharts are often used as a program planning tool to organize the program's step-by-step process visually. Here are some examples:

Example 1: Print 1 to 20:


  • Step 1: Initialize X as 0,
  • Step 2: Increment X by 1,
  • Step 3: Print X,
  • Step 4: If X is less than 20 then go back to step 2.


Explain Algorithm and Flowchart with Examples (10)

Example 2: Convert Temperature from Fahrenheit (℉) to Celsius (℃)


  • Step 1: Read temperature in Fahrenheit,
  • Step 2: Calculate temperature with formula C=5/9*(F-32),
  • Step 3: Print C.


Explain Algorithm and Flowchart with Examples (11)

Example 3: Determine Whether A Student Passed the Exam or Not:


  • Step 1: Input grades of 4 courses M1, M2, M3 and M4,
  • Step 2: Calculate the average grade with formula "Grade=(M1+M2+M3+M4)/4"
  • Step 3: If the average grade is less than 60, print "FAIL", else print "PASS".


Explain Algorithm and Flowchart with Examples (12)

Part 6: Conclusion

From the above, we can come to the conclusion that a flowchart is a pictorial representation of an algorithm, an algorithm can be expressed and analyzed through a flowchart. An algorithm shows you every step of reaching the final solution, while a flowchart shows you how to carry out the process by connecting each step. An algorithm uses mainly words to describe the steps while you can create a flowchart with flowchart symbols to make the process more logical.

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What is algorithm and flowchart with example? ›

Difference Between Algorithm And Flowchart
Branching and LoopingSimple to display branching and looping.Hard to display branching and looping.
SolutionIn a flowchart, the solution is represented in a graphical format.In an algorithm, the solution is presented in non non-computer language.
8 more rows

What is algorithm explain with example? ›

An algorithm is a set of instructions for solving a problem or accomplishing a task. One common example of an algorithm is a recipe, which consists of specific instructions for preparing a dish or meal.

What are 5 examples of algorithms? ›

Examples of Algorithms in Everyday Life
  • Tying Your Shoes.
  • Following a Recipe.
  • Classifying Objects.
  • Bedtime Routines.
  • Finding a Library Book in the Library.
  • Driving to or from Somewhere.
  • Deciding What to Eat.
18 Aug 2022

What is algorithm and flowchart PDF? ›

Algorithm and flowchart are the powerful tools for learning programming. An algorithm is a step-by-step analysis of the process, while a flowchart explains the steps of a program in a graphical way. Algorithm and flowcharts helps to clarify all the steps for solving the problem.

How to write an algorithm example? ›

There are many ways to write an algorithm.
An Algorithm Development Process
  1. Step 1: Obtain a description of the problem. This step is much more difficult than it appears. ...
  2. Step 2: Analyze the problem. ...
  3. Step 3: Develop a high-level algorithm. ...
  4. Step 4: Refine the algorithm by adding more detail. ...
  5. Step 5: Review the algorithm.

What is difference between algorithm and flowchart? ›

1. An algorithm is a step-by-step procedure to solve a problem. A flowchart is a diagram created with different shapes to show the flow of data. 2.

What are the 4 types of algorithm? ›

Introduction To Types of Algorithms

Brute Force algorithm. Greedy algorithm. Recursive algorithm. Backtracking algorithm.

What are the 3 algorithms? ›

An algorithm is made up of three basic building blocks: sequencing, selection, and iteration.

What are the top 10 algorithms? ›

  • 1950: Krylov Subspace Method.
  • 1951: The Decompositional Approach to Matrix Computations.
  • 1957: The Fortran Optimizing Compiler.
  • 1959: QR Algorithm.
  • 1962: Quicksort.
  • 1965: Fast Fourier Transform.
  • 1977: Integer Relation Detection.
  • 1987: Fast Multipole Method.

What are the 3 standard algorithms? ›

Standard algorithms
  • bubble sort.
  • merge sort.

What is flowchart short answer? ›

A flowchart is a diagram depicting a process, a system or a computer algorithm. It is a diagrammatic representation of the solution to a given problem but, more importantly, it provides a breakdown of the essential steps to solving the problem.

What are the 2 types of algorithm? ›

7 Types Of Algorithms
  • Brute Force Algorithm.
  • Recursive Algorithm.
  • Dynamic Programming Algorithm.
  • Divide and Conquer Algorithm.
  • Greedy Algorithm.
  • Backtracking Algorithm.
  • Randomized Algorithm.

Whats the definition of a flowchart? ›

A flowchart is a formalized graphic representation of a logic sequence, work or manufacturing process, organization chart, or similar formalized structure. The purpose of a flow chart is to provide people with a common language or reference point when dealing with a project or process.

What is algorithm formula? ›

An algorithm is a method for solving a problem, but a formula is a sequence of numbers and symbols corresponding to a word in a language. The quadratic formula is an algorithm, because it is a method for solving quadratic equations. Algorithms may not even involve math, but formulas almost exclusively use numbers.

What are basic algorithms? ›

An algorithm is a set of commands that must be followed for a computer to perform calculations or other problem-solving operations. According to its formal definition, an algorithm is a finite set of instructions carried out in a specific order to perform a particular task.

What are examples of everyday algorithms? ›

The word 'algorithm' might seem scary at first, but it is actually a straightforward concept. People use algorithms all the time in their daily routines for accomplishing tasks, such as brushing your teeth, or making a sandwich! [The PowerPoint Presentation Script provides a copy of the directions for both PowerPoints.

What is a algorithm and flowchart and its advantage? ›

O Algorithms and flowcharts are two different tools. used for creating new programs, especially in computer programming. An algorithm is a step-by- step analysis of the process, while a flowchart explains the steps of a program in a graphical way.

Why is algorithm and flowchart important? ›

Algorithm and flowcharts help us to create new programs, specifically in computer programming. These tools are very helpful for programmers as they allow the programmer to analyze the entire programming process stepwise. Flowcharts on the other hand explain the steps of a program visually.

What is algorithm and flowchart Brainly? ›

Explanation: Algorithm is step by step procedure to solve the problem. Flowchart is a diagram created by different shapes to show the flow of data. In algorithm plain text are used. In flowchart, symbols/shapes are used.

What is called algorithm? ›

An algorithm is a procedure used for solving a problem or performing a computation. Algorithms act as an exact list of instructions that conduct specified actions step by step in either hardware- or software-based routines. Algorithms are widely used throughout all areas of IT.

What are the 7 algorithms? ›

These algorithms are essential to every programmer's workflow.
7 Algorithms Every Programmer Should Know
  • Dijkstra's Algorithm. ...
  • Merge Sort. ...
  • Quicksort. ...
  • Depth First Search. ...
  • Breadth-First Search. ...
  • Binary Search. ...
  • Minimum Spanning Tree Algorithms.
23 Aug 2021

What are methods of algorithms? ›

In the following section are descriptions of the main features of two methods of algorithm description: pseudocode and flowcharts. Descriptions and specific examples of the programming structures of sequence, selection, repetition and subprograms (procedures or subroutines) are given.

What are 3 examples of algorithms? ›

Common examples include: the recipe for baking a cake, the method we use to solve a long division problem, the process of doing laundry, and the functionality of a search engine are all examples of an algorithm.

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