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“The concept of black boxes has been around since the early days of systems theory though some attribute the first use to the field of electrical engineering.

It is a simple concept and has a straightforward definition: we know the inputs and subsequent outputs to a system but the internal workings of the system are not visible to us.

Black boxes approaches focus on input and output rather than the details of how inputs are transformed into outputs”.

-John M. Green, The Application of Black Box Theory to System Development

Data Driven Hypothesis Generation

The results of experiments guide the subsequent experiments. For instance, adding secondary air jets into flame is shown to decrease PM2.5. Guided by the result, further investigation in a prototype under the emission hood determines the most successful application by varying parameters.

Random Experimental Design

In a Black Box (where the situation is complex and not understood) randomized approaches to experimental design can be effective and efficient.

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