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Semantic network theory

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1 Definition

“A semantic network or net is a graphic notation for representing knowledge in patterns of interconnected nodes and arcs. Computer implementations of semantic networks were first developed for artificial intelligence and machine translation, but earlier versions have long been used in philosophy, psychology, and linguistics.” (Sowa, retrieved 19:33, 14 August 2007 (MEST).

“Knowledge representation is an issue that arises in both cognitive science and artificial intelligence. In cognitive science it is concerned with how people store and process information. In artificial intelligence (AI) the primary aim is to store knowledge so that programs can process it and achieve the verisimilitude of human intelligence.” (Wikipedia, retrieved 19:33, 14 August 2007 (MEST)).

1.1 In cognitive theory

For some authors knowledge is stored either in episodic or semantic memory. The further is organized in spacio-temporal dimensions, the second according semantic content-oriented principles, e.g. networks of concepts.

“Long-Term Memory which is a large storage system, stores factual information, procedural rules of behavior, experiential knowledge, in fact everything we know. We have two types of long term memory Episodic and semantic memory Episodic memory represents our memory of events and experiences in a serial form. It is from this memory that we can reconstruct the actual events that took place at a given point in our lives. The second is Semantic memory, which is a structured record of facts, concepts and skills that we have acquired . The information in semantic memory is derived from that in our episodic memory, such that we can learn new facts or concepts from our experiences. Semantic memory is structured in some way to allow access to information representation of relationtionship between pieces of information and inference. One model for the way in which semantic memory is structured is as a network. Items are associated to each other in classes and may inherit attributes from parent classes. This model is known as a Semantic network.”(Cognitive Psychology on Memory, retrieved 20:17, 14 August 2007 (MEST)])

1.2 In computer science

In computer science, a semantic network can be defined as a knowledge representation formalism which describes objects and their relationships in terms of a network consisting of labelled arcs and nodes.

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