The semantic spectrum (sometimes referred to as the ontology spectrum or the smart data continuum or semantic precision) is a series of increasingly precise or rather semantically expressive definitions for data elements in knowledge representations, especially for machine use.
At the low end of the spectrum is a simple binding of a single word or phrase and its definition. At the high end is a full ontology that specifies relationships between data elements using precise URIs for relationships and properties.
With increased specificity comes increased precision and the ability to use tools to automatically integrate systems but also increased cost to build and maintain a metadata registry.
Some steps in the semantic spectrum include the following:
- Formal "Is-a" relationships
Note that there was a special emphasis on the adding of formal is-a relationships to the spectrum which seems to have been dropped.
The company Cerebra has also popularized this concept by describing the data formats that exist within an enterprise in their ability to store semantically precise metadata. Their list includes:
What the concepts share in common is the ability to store information with increasing precision to facilitate intelligent agents.
Decoupling semantic and associative information in false memories: Explorations with semantically ambiguous and unambiguous critical lures [An article from: Journal of Memory and Language]