A methodology is presented for characterizing and analyzing general continuous flow system with special emphasis on particulate processes. The methodology is based on describing the history of individual particles (or fluid elements) in the process. The movements of particles are expressed in terms of the flow regions they visit using a Markov chain presentation. Explicit expressions as well as computational methods are derived for various process characteristics of interest. These include the distributions, means and variances of: the number of visits to any specified flow region; the total number of regions visited; and the number of visits to any specified set of regions. This methodology yields information on bulk properties as well as on individual particle behavior and deviations among particles.