Definition - What does Branch mean?
A branch in a computer program is an instruction that tells a computer to begin executing different instructions rather than simply executing the instructions in order. In high-level languages, these are typically referred to as flow control procedures and are built into the language. In assembly programming, branch instructions are built into a CPU.
Techopedia explains Branch
Branching is a basic concept in computer science. It means an instruction that tells a computer to begin executing a different part of a program rather than executing statements one-by-one.
Branching is implemented as a series of control flow statements in high-level programming languages. These can include:
- If statements
- For loops
- While loops
- Goto statements
Branching instructions are also implemented at the CPU level, though they are much less sophisticated than the kinds of instructions found in high-level languages. These instructions are accessed through assembly programming and are also referred to as "jump" instructions.