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In science, computing, and engineering, a black box is a system which can be viewed in terms of its inputs and outputs (or transfer characteristics), without any knowledge of its internal workings. Its implementation is "opaque" (black). The term can be used to refer to many inner workings, such as those of a transistor, an engine, an algorithm, the human brain, or an institution or government.
|Black box systems|
|Black box, Oracle machine|
|Methods and techniques|
|Black-box testing, Blackboxing |
|Feed forward, Obfuscation, Pattern recognition, White box, White-box testing, Gray-box testing, System identification|
|A priori information, Control systems, Open systems, Operations research, Thermodynamic systems|
To analyze an open system with a typical "black box approach", only the behavior of the stimulus/response will be accounted for, to infer the (unknown) box. The usual representation of this black box system is a data flow diagram centered in the box.
The opposite of a black box is a system where the inner components or logic are available for inspection, which is most commonly referred to as a white box (sometimes also known as a "clear box" or a "glass box").