black box

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black box

1. a self-contained unit in an electronic or computer system whose circuitry need not be known to understand its function
2. an informal name for flight recorder
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Black Box

 

(in Russian, chernyi iashchik), an object of study whose internal structure either is unknown or is too complex for any conclusions about the behavior of the object to be drawn on the basis of the properties of the object’s elements or on the basis of the structure of the connections between the elements. In Russian, the term chernyi iashchik is also used to refer to the method of studying such objects.

The black-box method is used in cases where an outside observer knows only the input to an object and the object’s response; in such cases, the processes occurring within the object are unknown. The study of a multiterminal network whose internal circuitry is unknown provides a very simple example of the use of the black-box method. By observing the behavior of such an object for a sufficiently long time and, if necessary, by carrying out active experiments on the object (that is, by changing the input in some specific manner), a level of knowledge about the properties of the object may be achieved such that changes in the object’s behavior in response to any given input may be predicted. However, no matter how thoroughly the behavior of a black box is studied, an unambiguous conclusion about the internal structure of the object cannot be reached, since the same behavior may be characteristic of different objects.

The black-box method is widely used to solve problems in the modeling of controlled systems—for example, in the study of integrated systems—especially in cases where the behavior rather than the structure of a system is of interest.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

black box

[′blak ‚bäks]
(engineering)
Any component, usually electronic and having known input and output, that can be readily inserted into or removed from a specific place in a larger system without knowledge of the component's detailed internal structure.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

black box

black boxclick for a larger image
A typical recording of an earlier version of flight data recorder (FDR). Modern FDRs can record many more parameters.
black box
A typical flight data recorder/voice recorder. These are colored orange.
i. The generic name given to crash data recorders and voice data recorders. Although called black boxes, they are orange. They can withstand very high temperatures and high impact.
ii. Any unit, usually an electronic or avionic device such as an amplifier, that can be mounted in, or removed from, the aircraft as a single package.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

black box

(jargon)
An abstraction of a device or system in which only its externally visible behaviour is considered and not its implementation or "inner workings".

See also functional testing.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)

black box

(1) See black box testing and Black Box Corporation.

(2) An electronic device that records airplane flight data. Officially a "flight data recorder," the unit is highly protected and can emit a signal for up to 30 days after a crash, even underwater. First used in the late 1950s, Australia was the first country to require them. Dating back to the late 19th century, a "train event recorder" or "on-train monitoring recorder" (OTMR) is the equivalent device in a locomotive.

(3) An electronic device that records driving data in motor vehicles, most notably their speed. Officially an "event data recorder," automotive black boxes were first used in the late 1990s.

(4) Any custom-made electronic device can be called a black box, typically made to solve some interfacing problem. Such devices were named black boxes because they were often housed in plain containers, and their purpose may even be a mystery to the experienced observer. However, yesterday's black boxes sometimes become today's off-the-shelf products. See COTS.


The Black Box
Without logos or identifying marks, a black box can be any device custom made to solve a problem.







A Little Black Box
The 10-ounce device lying on top of this CD changer is an Apple TV set-top box. See Apple TV.
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References in periodicals archive ?
This Note seeks to explore the interrelationship between privacy rights and the modern technology of the private sector, with particular emphasis on "information privacy." I will set forth the statutory and common law protections of privacy rights, and analyze their applicability to the technology of today and tomorrow, focusing on the Event Data Recorder and Interactive Television.
et al., "Comparison of the Accuracy and Sensitivity of Generation 1, 2 and 3 Toyota Event Data Recorders in Low-Speed Collisions," SAE Int.
This is one of the key factors driving the growth of the global automotive event data recorder market size at a CAGR of nearly 6% during the forecast period.
"It's likely that it's a newer event data recorder in the lead passenger car, the controlling car, so we're hopeful that will have information that will be functioning," Dinh-Zarr reportedly said.
et al., "Event Data Recorder (EDR) Developed by Toyota Motor Corporation," SAE Int.
When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asked for public input on a proposed rule that would require all cars to have an event data recorder (EDR), commonly called a black box, its website was swamped by more than a thousand comments from people who were concerned about the privacy implications.
But the vehicle's event data recorder showed that Murray (who has since resigned) was traveling at over 100 miles an hour and wasn't wearing a seat belt; Murray later admitted he had fallen asleep.
The automotive "black box" or Event Data Recorder is similar to the flight recorders used in civilian commercial aircraft.
1813: MAP-21, a bill that would require yet another "thing" to capture data; it mandates all vehicles to have an event data recorder, or "black box," installed as of 2015.
BX1500, an in-vehicle Event Data Recorder (EDR), makes constant recordings of video footages on a loop as the journey continues.
Melbourne, Nov 6 (ANI): Those driving modern vehicles will have to be a extra vigilant now onwards, as event data recorder (EDR) installed in their car can provide investigators exact details about their driving behaviour, in case of a crash.
One example is an Event Data Recorder for trucks, developed by Alfa Electronics, that monitors and records a truck's speed.