Browse Prior Art Database

Flograms

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000084716D
Original Publication Date: 1975-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-02
Document File: 3 page(s) / 17K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Campbell, JL: AUTHOR

Abstract

A flogram is a graphical scheme for documenting the internal logic structure of a module in a condensed, easily-understood form. It is a scheme which breaks out the flow of control in a module without restricting the descriptive format of the component processes. A hierarchy of flograms can serve as a complete documentation of the internal logic of a product, showing the flow of control at each level.

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Flograms

A flogram is a graphical scheme for documenting the internal logic structure of a module in a condensed, easily-understood form. It is a scheme which breaks out the flow of control in a module without restricting the descriptive format of the component processes. A hierarchy of flograms can serve as a complete documentation of the internal logic of a product, showing the flow of control at each level.

A flogram is like an abbreviated flow chart with some additional properties. It is divided into two complementary sections running in parallel down a page. The first section is a graphical representation of the flow of control through a module, indicating which type of processes occur and how they are connected. The second section is a set of text descriptions of what processes occur; it can be written in whatever descriptive language is appropriate to the task, e.g., English for general descriptions (high-level design), a programming-type language for code descriptions. A description can run for as many lines as is necessary being terminated by at least one nonprocess line; only flow direction and connection symbols can occur in the flow section of these lines.

The two sections are synchronized so that opposite each process symbol in the flow section is the text description of that process. More than one instance of the same process symbol may occur in the same line opposite a given description; but each process symbol must occur in a separate flow path. This means that the process described occurs in each of the flagged paths through the logic. It is not permitted to have more than one kind of process symbol on a given line.

The normal flow of control through a flogram is vertically downwards from a flogram entry statement to a flogram return statement. Sequences of processes are represented by their process symbols joined by vertical lines (vertical connection symbols). If, however, a branch is required to another section of logic, it is indicated by a left or right arrow terminating the downward flow, followed by a connection line composed of vertical and horizontal line segments, to the target section. All changes of direction are marked by arrows pointing in the flow direction of the next line segment (this includes the case of path joining).

Flow paths can split as a result of two types of construction, viz. the case process and the asynchronous fork. With the case process, the start of each alternative logic path is indicated by a case identifier; and the direction of flow is given by an upward arrow above or a downward arrow below the identifier. Flow of control then proceeds down the different paths in the indicated directions. With the asynchronous fork, several logic paths are simultaneously traversed. The fork is indicated by a line of upward and/or downward arrows, one for each asynchronous path, joined by horizontal connectors (lines). Flow then proceeds down each path in the indicated directions.

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