Graphical representation of a process, such as a manufacturing operation or a computer operation, indicating the various steps taken as the product moves along the production line or the problem moves through the computer. Individual operations can be represented by closed boxes, with arrows between boxes indicating the order in which the steps are taken and divergent paths determined by variable results.
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Graph in which the absolute magnitudes of stars are plotted against their colours (a measure of their temperatures). Of great importance to theories of stellar evolution, it evolved from charts begun independently in 1911 by the Danish astronomer Ejnar Hertzsprung (1873–1967) and the U.S. astronomer Henry Norris Russell (1877–1957). On the diagram, stars are ranked from bottom to top in order of increasing brightness and from right to left by increasing temperature. Stars tend to cluster in certain parts of the diagram, especially along a diagonal line, called the main sequence, which is the locus of hydrogen-burning stars of different masses.
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A diagram is a 2D geometric symbolic representation of information according to some visualization technique. Sometimes, the technique uses a 3D visualization which is then projected onto the 2D surface. The word graph is sometimes used as a synonym for diagram.
Diagram has two meanings in common sense.
The term diagram is used in both meanings in science. For example Michael Anderson (1997) stated "diagrams are pictorial, yet abstract, representations of information, and maps, line graphs, bar charts, engineering blueprints, and architects' sketches are all examples of diagrams, whereas photographs and video are not". On the other hand Richard K. Lowe (1993) defined diagrams as "abstract graphic portrayals of the subject matter they represent", and only include the typical visual forms as area diagrams, flow charts, idea diagrams, and PERT charts.
The word "diagram" is often coupled together with the word "chart" as in "charts and diagrams", within the larger conceptual framework of qualitative rather than quantitative displays. Charts can contain both quantitative and qualitative information. The term "charts and diagrams" is specially meant to address one class of genre: the kind that communicates qualitative information.
Diagrams are usually simplified figures, caricatures in a way, intended to convey essential meaning. According to Jan V. White (1984) the characteristics of a good diagram are elegance, clarity, ease, pattern, simplicity, and validity. Elegance for White means that what you are seeing in the diagram is the simplest and most fitting solution to a problem.
Diagrams, according to Lee E. Brasseur (2003), are essentially drawings with text. They consist of basic lines and shapes that convey an idea. The broad category of drawings in a larger sense can include very realistic portrayals of life or objects, but diagrams are a kind of drawing that tend to show a basic abstract structure rather than a more highly contextualized or detailed view. They can be thought of as providing something akin to the essence of a situation or an idea.
Thousands of diagram techniques exist. Some more examples follow.
List of modeling languages
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