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flow control[′flō kən‚trōl]
Any system used to control the flow of gases, vapors, liquids, slurries, pastes, or solid particles through or along conduits or channels.
Measures designed to adjust the flow of traffic into a given airspace, along a given route, or bound for a given aerodrome, so as to ensure the most effective utilization of the airspace (ICAO). ATC (air traffic control) may apply restrictions to the flow of air traffic to ensure that the elements of the common systems, such as airports or airways, do not become saturated.
flow control(communications, protocol)
The collection of techniques used in serial communications to stop the sender sending data until the receiver can accept it. This may be either software flow control or hardware flow control. The receiver typically has a fixed size buffer into which received data is written as soon as it is received. When the amount of buffered data exceeds a "high water mark", the receiver will signal to the transmitter to stop transmitting until the process reading the data has read sufficient data from the buffer that it has reached its "low water mark", at which point the receiver signals to the transmitter to resume transmission.
flow control(1) The management of transmission between two devices such as nodes in a network or between the CPU and peripheral devices. It provides notification to the sending device to slow down or speed up data transmission or data transfer due to the receiving device's current ability to keep up with it. Flow control also enables slower-speed devices to communicate with higher-speed ones and vice versa. See xon-xoff.
(2) In programming, the if-then and loop statements that make up the program's logic.