I am having a hard time understanding the work 'Semantic' or 'Semantics' Dictionary.com says:

'of, relating to, or arising from the different meanings of words or other symbols'

But it is still not clear to me.

One of many contexts that I do not understand what 'Semantics' is found in OMT Insights: Perspective on Modeling from the Journal of Object-Oriented Programming by James Rumbaugh:

More precisely, a method has to include:

  • A set of fundamental modeling concepts for capturing semantic knowledge about a problem and its solution. The modeling concepts are independent of how they are visualized. They are the inputs for semantic tools, such as code generators, semantic checkers, and traceability tools.

Can you rephrase the quote in a different way, so you can help me understand it ?


1 Answer 1


In computer science, semantics is generally contrasted with syntax (or grammar). Syntax concerns itself with the basic structure of something (e.g. the proper order of tokens in a programming language), while semantics is concerned with the meaning of it, or what results it produces.

For instance, the syntax of an addition expression could be described as:

expression1 + expression2

The semantics would be described as:

The sum of the results of evaluating expression1 and expression2 is calculated, and this sum becomes the result of the addition expression.

In AI and modeling, semantics refers to the abstract meaning of the data represented in the model, i.e. what it relates to in the real world, as opposed to the way the data is stored.

  • one of the best answers I've received :)
    – Adelin
    Nov 4, 2017 at 19:13

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