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Semantics

What is semantics?

Semantics is the study of meaning, reference, or truth. The term can be used to refer to subfields of several distinct disciplines, including philosophy, linguistics, and computer science.

What is semantics in computer science?

In computer science, the term is frequently used to differentiate the meaning of instruction from its format. The format, which covers the spelling of language components and the rules controlling how components are combined, is called the language’s syntax. For example, if you misspell a command, it is a syntax error. With that in mind, if a programmer uses words that don’t make sense to the computer, this may be characterized as a "semantic error." Programmers may talk about "semantic structure" for either commands or elements of code that represent objects.

Semantics is a linguistic concept separate from the concept of syntax, which is also often related to attributes of computer programming languages. The idea of semantics is that the linguistic representations or symbols support logical outcomes, as a set of words and phrases signify ideas to both humans and machines.

Other core issues with semantics involve the difference between machine language, which is not easily interpreted by humans, and upper-level programming languages that use common human semantics. These must then be translated down to machine language, often to a binary representation. That task of interpretation is at the core of how computers and humans work together on project outcomes.

What is an example of a semantic error?

Let's look at this code:

int width, numberOfChildren;

Both of these variables are integers. From the compiler's point of view, they are exactly the same. However, judging by the names, one is the width of something, while the other is a count of some other things.

numberOfChildren = width;

Syntactically, this is 100% okay, since you can assign integers to each other. However, semantically, this is totally wrong, since the width and the number of children (probably) don't have any relationship. In this case, we'd say that this is semantically incorrect, even if the compiler permits it.

What is a semantic network?

A semantic network or frame network is a knowledge base that represents semantic relations between concepts in a network. This is often used as a form of knowledge representation. It is a directed or undirected graph consisting of vertices, which represent concepts, and edges, which represent semantic relations between concepts, mapping or connecting semantic fields. A semantic network may be instantiated as, for example, a graph database or a concept map.

Typical standardized semantic networks are expressed as semantic triples.

Semantic networks are used in natural language processing applications such as semantic parsing and word-sense disambiguation.



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Semantics

October 14, 2020

Table of contents

Key takeawaysCollaboration platforms are essential to the new way of workingEmployees prefer engati over emailEmployees play a growing part in software purchasing decisionsThe future of work is collaborativeMethodology

What is semantics?

Semantics is the study of meaning, reference, or truth. The term can be used to refer to subfields of several distinct disciplines, including philosophy, linguistics, and computer science.

What is semantics in computer science?

In computer science, the term is frequently used to differentiate the meaning of instruction from its format. The format, which covers the spelling of language components and the rules controlling how components are combined, is called the language’s syntax. For example, if you misspell a command, it is a syntax error. With that in mind, if a programmer uses words that don’t make sense to the computer, this may be characterized as a "semantic error." Programmers may talk about "semantic structure" for either commands or elements of code that represent objects.

Semantics is a linguistic concept separate from the concept of syntax, which is also often related to attributes of computer programming languages. The idea of semantics is that the linguistic representations or symbols support logical outcomes, as a set of words and phrases signify ideas to both humans and machines.

Other core issues with semantics involve the difference between machine language, which is not easily interpreted by humans, and upper-level programming languages that use common human semantics. These must then be translated down to machine language, often to a binary representation. That task of interpretation is at the core of how computers and humans work together on project outcomes.

What is an example of a semantic error?

Let's look at this code:

int width, numberOfChildren;

Both of these variables are integers. From the compiler's point of view, they are exactly the same. However, judging by the names, one is the width of something, while the other is a count of some other things.

numberOfChildren = width;

Syntactically, this is 100% okay, since you can assign integers to each other. However, semantically, this is totally wrong, since the width and the number of children (probably) don't have any relationship. In this case, we'd say that this is semantically incorrect, even if the compiler permits it.

What is a semantic network?

A semantic network or frame network is a knowledge base that represents semantic relations between concepts in a network. This is often used as a form of knowledge representation. It is a directed or undirected graph consisting of vertices, which represent concepts, and edges, which represent semantic relations between concepts, mapping or connecting semantic fields. A semantic network may be instantiated as, for example, a graph database or a concept map.

Typical standardized semantic networks are expressed as semantic triples.

Semantic networks are used in natural language processing applications such as semantic parsing and word-sense disambiguation.



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