I am looking for a formal definition of so-called "flowcharts" used as representation of programs or business processes.

Is there some good one around ?


  • $\begingroup$ I suspect the answer might be no, there are many different types of flowcharts and almost all of them are ad-hoc and the rest are "informal" in that they don't really have any well-defined properties that we could study in a formal way (esp. for business processes). I have a feeling that the moderators will say this isn't a CS theory question... $\endgroup$ Apr 28 '11 at 18:17
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    $\begingroup$ I think this might be off topic. Maybe if you phrased the question more carefully it could be on topic? I don't know much about flowcharts, but as far as I understand UML is pretty well formalized. You might want to start by taking a look there. $\endgroup$ Apr 28 '11 at 18:31
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    $\begingroup$ JCLL, please read the FAQ if you have not. This doesn't seem to be a research-level question. (IIRC, there is a definition in the first chapter of Odifreddi's Classical Recursion Theory, vol I.) $\endgroup$
    – Kaveh
    Apr 28 '11 at 18:39
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps you should reframe the question in terms of your research. I don't think you'll find anything more enlightening than the wikipedia definition of flowcharts (Of course you get data flow diagrams and control flow diagrams, but this too is easily found on wikipedia). $\endgroup$ Apr 28 '11 at 19:57
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    $\begingroup$ I'm pretty sure semantics of flowcharts exist already, probably since the 70s (google "semantics flowcharts"). The semantics of business process notions such as BPMN have recently been defined (google "semantics bpmn"). Perhaps if you are after something between automata and flowcharts, you might want to look at Petri Nets. $\endgroup$ Apr 28 '11 at 21:23

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