In telecommunication, the term automatic data processing (ADP) has the following meanings:

1. An interacting assembly of procedures, processes, methods, personnel, and equipment to perform automatically a series of data processing operations on data.

Note: The data processing operations may result in a change in the semantic content of the data.

2. Data processing by means of one or more devices that use common storage for all or part of a computer program, and also for all or part of the data necessary for execution of the program; that execute user-written or user-designated programs; that perform user-designated symbol manipulation, such as arithmetic operations, logic operation, or character string manipulations; and that can execute programs that modify themselves during their execution. Automatic data processing may be performed by a stand-alone unit or by several connected units.

3. Data processing largely performed by automatic means.

4. That branch of science and technology concerned with methods and techniques relating to data processing largely performed by automatic means.

Source: from Federal Standard 1037C and from MIL-STD-188 and from the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

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