black boxblack box
- an intricate, compact electronic component or device, such as a flight recorder, that can be quickly connected or disconnected as a unit
- anything having a complex function that can be observed but whose inner workings are mysterious or unknown
- See event recorder.
- A usually large, square room with black walls used as a space for theatrical performances.
- a. A device or theoretical construct with known or specified performance characteristics but unknown or unspecified constituents and means of operation.b. Something that is mysterious, especially as to function.
(plural black boxes)
- (aviation) Informal name for the brightly colored cockpit voice recorders and flight data recorders in an aircraft designed to aid in determining the cause of an accident.
- (transport) by extension, any similar device on motor vehicles, such as rail event recorders and ship trip recorders
- A theoretical construct or device with known input and output characteristics but unknown method of operation.
black box - Computer Definition
(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.
black box - Investment & Finance Definition
A complex software program that is used to determine a price that a security should be sold at, indicate what trades should be done, or give the result of a financial calculation. The inner workings of a black box pricing formula are not explained to the users or are very complex and hard to understand, so users refer to the end result as black box number.