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BACKBONE. This form of network is the organization's central information path. In the application of a backbone network, hub locations' telecommunications capabilities are sized to provide effective distribution of information to all the organization's locations.
BACKGROUND PROCESSING. (1) (ANSI) The execution of lower priority computer programs when higher priority programs are not using the system resources.
BACKUP. A copy of disk or tape files used for recovery if the operational files are lost or damaged.
BAR CODE. (ANSI/ISO) A code representing characters by sets of parallel bars of varying thickness and separation that are read optically by transverse scanning.
BASIC. (BEGINNER'S ALL-PURPOSE SYMBOLIC INSTRUCTION CODE) . (ANSI) A procedural algebraic language originally designed for ease of learning with a small instruction repertoire.
BATCH PROCESSING. (1) (ANSI/ISO) The processing of data or the accomplishment of jobs accumulated in advance, in such a manner that the user cannot further influence its processing while it is in progress. (2) (ANSI) The processing of data accumulated over a period of time. (3) (ANSI) Loosely, the execution of computer programs serially. (4) (ANSI) Pertaining to the technique of executing a set of computer programs such that each is completed before the next program of the set is started. (5) (ANSI) Pertaining to the sequential input of computer programs or data.
BAUD. (1) (ANSI) A unit of signaling speed equal to the number of discrete conditions or signal events per second. For example, one baud equals one-half dot cycle per second in Morse code, one bit per second in a train of binary signals, and one 3-bit value per second in a train of signals each of which can assume one of eight different states. (2) (ANSI) In asynchronous transmission, the unit of modulation rate corresponding to one unit interval per second, i.e., if the duration of the unit interval is 20 milliseconds, the modulation rate is 50 baud.
BCD. (See BINARY-CODED DECIMAL NOTATION.)
BENCHMARK PROBLEM. (1) (ANSI) A problem used to evaluate the performance of hardware or software or both. (2) (ANSI) A problem used to evaluate the performance of several computers relative to each other, or a single computer relative to system specifications.
BINARY. (1) (ANSI/ISO) Pertaining to a selection, choice, or condition that has two possible different alues or states. (2) (ANSI/ISO) Pertaining to a fixed radix numeration system having a radix of two.
BINARY-CODED DECIMAL NOTATION (BCD). (ANSI/ISO) A binary-coded notation in which each of the decimal digits is represented by a binary numeral, e.g., in binary-coded decimal notation that uses the weights 8, 4, 2, 1, the number “twenty-three” is represented by 0010 0011 (compare its representation 10111 in the pure binary numeration system). Syns: binary-coded decimal code, binary-coded decimal representation, coded decimal notation.
BINARY DIGIT (BIT). (1) (ANSI/ISO) In binary notation, either of the characters, 0 or 1.
BINARY SEARCH. (ANSI/ISO) A dichotomizing search in which, at each step of the search, the set of items is partitioned into two equal parts, some appropriate action being taken in the case of an odd number of items.
BIT. (See BINARY DIGIT.)
BIT MAPPING. The process of defining a pattern of bits stored in memory and used to display images on a video display screen and/or to print images on a printer.
BLOCK. (1) (ANSI/ISO) A string of records, a string of words, or a character string, formed for technical or logical purposes are treated as an entity. (2) (ANSI) A collection of contiguous records that are recorded as a unit, and the units are separated by interblock gaps. (3) (ANSI) A group of bits or digits that are transmitted as a unit and that may be encoded for error-control purposes. (4) (ANSI) In programming languages, a subdivision of a program that serves to group related statements, delimit routines, specify storage allocation, delineate the applicability of labels, or segment parts of the program for other purposes. In FORTRAN, a block may be a sequence of statements: in COBOL, it may be a physical record.
BOOLEAN OPERATION. (1) (ANSI/ISO) Any operation in which each of the operands and the result take one of two values. (2) (ANSI/ISO) An operation that follows the rules of Boolean algebra.
BOOTSTRAP. (1) (ANSI/ISO) A set of instructions that cause additional instructions to be loaded until the complete computer program is in storage. (2) (ANSI) A technique or device designed to bring itself into a desired state by means of its own action, e.g., a machine routine whose first few instructions are sufficient to bring the rest of itself into the computer from an input device. (3) (ANSI) That part of a computer program used to establish another version of the computer program. (4) (ANSI/ISO) To use a bootstrap.
BUBBLE SORT. (ANSI) An exchange sort in which the sequence of examination of pairs of items is reversed whenever an exchange is made. Syn: sifting sort.
BUS. (ANSI) One or more conductors used for transmitting signals or power.
BYTE. (ANSI/ISO) A binary character string operated upon as a unit and usually shorter than a computer word.
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