The two sentences below are for a user input form for a semantic network. It is a standard, HTML-based form with two drop down menus (the square brackets represent the drop-down menus). Users use the form to correlate their new 'knowledge nodes' into the network.

1) "This new node [points to, is pointed at from] the existing node. "
2) "The 'pointer' is [a, a kind of, prerequisite to, a part of, an example of] the 'pointee'."
(Phew, it hurts to read those.)

I would like to accomplish two things:
1)I would like to combine those sentences into one sentence (I think it will read easier).
2)I would like to know of any lists of words/phrases for the 'relationship' words that are typically associated with a semantic network (two common ones are 'is a' and 'a kind of').


Since there are only two choices for the direction of the arrow, perhaps a drop-down menu is not appropriate. You could have the sentence include the names of the two nodes with a button to swap them. For example:

Apple [is a kind of, has, is related to, etc.] Fruit

with a button called "swap nodes" or something, very easily noticeable.

As far as relationship words, in addition to H&B's suggestions, you can use:

is the opposite of
is the same as

  • opposite is a good one. 'same as' is a long discusion, but I will think about. Regarding the single sentence, that sounds good, but the problem is if the new node is the fruit and the existing node is the apple: Fruit[]Apple. I would need the opposite of "is a kind of" etc. Hmmm, Fruit _____ apple. (?) – John R Jun 30 '11 at 18:38
  • That's where the swap button could come in. You could swap the position of apple and fruit in the sentence and then the relationship would make sense. – jackgill Jun 30 '11 at 18:52
  • Yes, I had thought of that... I guess I might have to write some JavaScript. – John R Jun 30 '11 at 21:19

Here's my best shot:

The 'pointer' directs from the existing node to the new node.

A list of these relationship words are:

is a i.e. Canary is a bird
part of i.e. Leaves are part of trees
has i.e. A whale has fins
a kind of ( similar to is a) i.e. An orang-utan is a kind of ape
related to i.e. Water is related to life

  • Thanks. Those are good (and useful). Are those a standard for 'semantic networks', or did you think them up? Is there a standard? 'Rabbits are a kind of mammal' but it's not correct to say 'Bugs Bunny is a kind of Rabbit'. 'is a' is for single entities of a class. 'a kind of' is for classes and sub classes. – John R Jun 30 '11 at 18:45
  • @John R, they were taken from a semantic network, but I don't know of any compiled list unfortunately. – Thursagen Jul 1 '11 at 5:36

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