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Technical Studies Reference

Accumulation / Distribution Flow

This study calculates and displays the Accumulation/Distribution Flow which was created by Bill Williams. It also calculates and displayes an average of this quantity.

Let the Open, High, Low, and Close prices at Index \(t\) be denoted, respectively, as \(O_t\), \(H_t\), \(L_t\), and \(C_t\). Let the Volume at Index \(t\) be denoted as \(V_t\), and let the Accumulation/Distribution Flow at Index \(t\) be denoted as \(ADF_t\).

The Accumulation/Distribution Flow is initialized to \(ADF_0 = 5000\), and the values of \(ADF_t\) are computed for all values of \(t > 0\). However, the values of \(ADF_t\) for \(t < n\) are used only internally and not displayed as output. Only the values for \(t \geq n\) are displayed.

If the Input Use Previous Close is set to No, then \(ADF_t\) is computed for \(t > 0\) as follows.

\(\displaystyle{ADF_t=\left\{ \begin{matrix} ADF_{t-1} & H_t - L_t = 0 \\ ADF_{t-1} + \frac{\left(C_t - O_t\right)}{\left(H_t - L_t\right)}V_t & H_t - L_t \neq 0 \end{matrix}\right .}\)

If the Input Use Previous Close is set to Yes, then \(AD_t\) is computed for \(t > 0\) as follows.

\(\displaystyle{ADF_t=\left\{ \begin{matrix} ADF_{t-1} & H_t - L_t = 0 \\ ADF_{t-1} + \frac{\left(C_t - C_{t-1}\right)}{\left(H_t - L_t\right)}V_t & H_t - L_t \neq 0 \end{matrix}\right .}\)

Note: In either case, the values of \(ADF_t\) are only displayed for \(t \geq n\). The values for \(0 \leq t < n - 1\) are not displayed as output, but rather are stored internally for the purpose of computing the average, which we describe next.

The average of \(ADF_t\) at chart bar \(t\) is computed as a Simple Moving Average of Moving Average Length \(n\). The value of this average at Index \(t\) is denoted as \(\overline{ADF}_t(n)\), and it is calculated for \(t \geq n\) as follows.

\(\overline{ADF}_t(n) = MA_t(ADF,n)\)

In the above formula, \(ADF\) is a random variable denoting the Accumulation/Distribution Flow.


  • Moving Average Length
  • Use Previous Close: This Input determines whether the current Open or the prior Close price is to be used in the calculation of \(AD_t\)


The spreadsheet below contains the formulas for this study in Spreadsheet format. Save this Spreadsheet to the Data Files Folder.

Open it through File >> Open Spreadsheet.


*Last modified Wednesday, 03rd January, 2018.