I don't remember seeing any color conventions in Computer Science used to represent some abstract information or to simplify diagrams.

For instance, chemists have the CPK coloring which associates elements to colors.

Electrical technicians have the electronic color code for resistors and wire colors (black for neutral/ground red for phase).

Physicists have conventions for magnets (North pole red, South pole blue), and even quarks have colors!

In CS, one of the only cases I know of are red-black trees, but it's not so much the concepts themselves, but this particular implementation.

I'm asking because I wonder if these colors could be useful in some contexts, for instance: if CFGs were always depicted with a given color for starting node and a different one for ending node; or in programming languages, having something as "immutable data is green, mutable data is blue", or in cryptography ("hash functions are yellow, symmetric encryption is blue, asymmetric is orange"), or computer architecture ("processors are red, memory is blue, buses are green"), etc. I've never seen for instance UML color conventions, or in automata theory, or other areas which frequently use diagrams. Apart from the very universal conventions of "green = good/pass, red = bad/stop", nothing seems to stick.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm gonna say no. At least I have not noticed a CS specific coloring scheme. We have red black trees. We tend to stick to simple colors but so does every other field I'm aware of. But there is no over arching theme that I am aware of. $\endgroup$ – Jake Apr 7 '16 at 23:11
  • $\begingroup$ Using colors for semantics is pretty but usually horrible for anything that is usually printed in grayscale (i.e. articles of any kind). That said, if would be helpful if there would be a standard color scale for plots and such that works well in that scenario, as opposed to what most people use. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Apr 9 '16 at 9:35
  • $\begingroup$ Well, heraldry found a way to map colors to patterns, and although it's not ideal, it's something I find deeply missing from many modern image drawing tools... $\endgroup$ – anol Apr 9 '16 at 14:38

Computer security (especially, military-oriented branches of it) has the concept of red/black separation, with accepted definitions of what is red and what is black.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is a relatively niche definition (I had personally never heard of it), but it does answer positively to my question, so thanks! $\endgroup$ – anol Apr 9 '16 at 14:40

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