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A semantic network is a system in which commonly understood labeling is used to show relationships between its parts. In a semantic network, network elements are represented with semantic labels that make sense in a given target language.
A semantic network is also known as a frame network.
Semantic networks vary in type and can represent very diverse systems. For example, engineers or project managers may construct a semantic network design for an IT network that uses semantic labels to refer to network nodes or connected devices with different roles. On the other hand, scientists and others may construct semantic networks linking different types of biological objects, or parts of organic systems, where the semantic network structure is more of a general knowledge representation, rather than part of an IT documentation.
A conceptual component of a semantic network is the need to portray different types of elements in human-friendly representations. A contrast to a semantic network occurs when networks that are set up in computer machine language are not easily readable by humans.
When looking at what semantic networks are and how they work, it is useful to understand what does not constitute a semantic network. Essentially, they work by using recognizable labels in a target language to describe anything in the network as a logical representation.