Semantic Gap

What Does Semantic Gap Mean?

The “semantic gap” as it is often referenced in IT is the difference between high-level programming sets in various computer languages, and the simple computing instructions that microprocessors work with in machine language. This classic difference has compelled engineers and designers to look at different ways of mediating between high-level language and basic machine language.


Techopedia Explains Semantic Gap

In the past, engineers tried to bridge the semantic gap by making microprocessors more complex, as with Complex Instruction Set Computing (CISC) models. However, they found that it could be just as effective, if not more so, to design Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC) models. The philosophy is that microprocessors do not have to do complex work, but can break the high-level instructions down into simple steps. That resonates with the ways that semantic programming is compiled or broken down into machine language. The semantic gap illustrates the difference between humans and computers and how they process data.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.