# Introduction to Programming-Advantages of Algorithms

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### Advantages of Algorithms

Some advantages of algorithm are as follows:

1. Reduced Complexity

Writing algorithm and program separately simplifies the overall task by dividing it into two simpler tasks. While writing the algorithm, we can focus on solving the problem instead of concentrating on a particular language.

1. Increased Flexibility

Algorithm is written so that the code may be written in any language. Using the algorithm, the program could be written in Visual Basic, Java or C++ etc.

1. Ease of Understanding

It is not necessary to understand a particular programming language to understand an algorithm. It is written in an English like manner.

### Flowchart

Flowchart is combination of two words flow and chart. A chart consists of different symbols to display information about any program. Flow indicates the direction of processing that takes place in the program.

Flowchart is a graphical representation of an algorithm. It is a way of visually presenting the flow of data, operations performed on data and sequence of these operations. Flowchart is similar to the layout plan of a building. A designer draws the layout plan of the building before constructing it. Similarly, a programmer prefers to design the flowchart before writing the computer program. Flowchart is designed according to the defined rules.

### Uses of Logic Flowchart

Flowchart is used for the following reasons:

1. Flowchart is used to represent an algorithm in simple graphical manner.
2. Flowchart is used to show the steps of an algorithm in an easy way.
3. Flowchart is used to understand the flow of the program.
4. Flowchart is used to improve the logic for solving a program.
5. Programs can be reviewed and debugged easily.

### Flowchart Symbols

Flowchart uses simple symbols to show different types of statements:

1. Input/Output

Parallelogram symbol is used to represent an input or output step. Input statement is used to get input from user. The output statement is used to display a message to the user or to display a value.

1. Process

Rectangular symbol is used to represent a process step. A process may be a complex calculation or simply an assignment statement.

1. Selection

Diamond symbol is used to represent a selection step. A condition is given in the diamond. The flow of control from diamond may go in two directions i.e. one direction if the condition is true and the second direction if the condition is false.

1. Start/End

Oval symbol is used to represent the start or end of the flowchart.

1. Flow Lines

Arrow symbol is used to represent the start or end of the flowchart.

1. Connector

Circle symbol is used to combine different flow lines. It is used when two or more flow symbols come from different directions and more to one direction.

1. Function Call

Rectangular symbol with double lines on left and right sides is used to call a function. The name of function with parameters is written inside the symbol.

1.  Preparation

This symbol is used with for loops to specify start and stop conditions.

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