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Full Title or Meme

When an Entity can determine the "significance" of words in sentences.[1]


  • Based on the obsolete idea that all of language can be divided into Syntax (order) and Semantics (meaning).
  • Some data elements have meaning that is independent of the places where they are used. These cases are handled well with a Data Dictionary.
  • For data elements that are context-dependent, the meaning cannot be known without reference to the context. These cases need a richer model.

Semantic Models

  • Semantics in data processing goes back to the 1980's when EDI and XML structures were being defined.
  • Data dictionaries appeared in the databases with the EAR or Entity Attribute Relational models used with languages like SQL.
  • The Semantic Web can be dated to a paper by Tim Berners-Lee's paper[2] in 2001 and the publication of the OWL language in 2004.[3]


  1. Webster's Third International Dictionary, Etymology of Semantics
  2. Berners-Lee +2, The Semantic Web Scientific American (2001-05-17)
  3. W3C, OWL Web Ontology Language Overview (2004-02-10)