In the context of computing and technology, semantics means the use of domain knowledge to make software more intelligent, adaptive, and efficient.
By using knowledge specific to applications, one can enhance their functionalities and optimize the performance. Often combined with some reasoning capabilities,
the use of domain knowledge enables software to do useful tricks such as finding hidden relationships in a complicated web of objects.
The latest incarnation of semantics in computing is centered around ontology. An ontology characterizes the intended meaning of terms by formally defining relations among terms in a domain.
Founded on a powerful and expressive logic (known as description logic), the modern ontology technology enables one to specify useful domain knowledge and externalize it from software.
In addition to all these benefits of using semantics, the externalization of ontology improves knowledge sharing and reuse and makes software adaptable to environment.
There are a number of problems semantics solves particularly well, such as problems with information integration, model transformation, translation, data cleansing, search, navigation, text understanding, document preparation,
and speech understanding. Semantics technology can help developers working in such areas across numerous industries.
The Semantic Web is a "man-made woven web of data" that facilitates machines to understand the semantics, or meaning, of information on the World Wide Web.
The concept of Semantic Web applies methods beyond linear presentation of information (Web 1.0) and multi-linear presentation of information (Web 2.0) to make use of hyper-structures leading to entities of hypertext.
For the knowledge engineering community
, the advent of ontology engineering required adapting methodologies and technologies inherited from
software engineering to an open and networked environment.
With the advances provided by model driven software development, the semantic web community is keen on learning what the benefi ts are of disciplines like
- domain specific modeling, and
- model transformation
for the semantic web field.
For software engineering, declarative specification is one of the major facets of enterprise computing.
Because the (OWL) Ontology Web Language is designed for sharing terminologies, interoperability, and inconsistency detection,
software engineers will welcome a technique that improves productivity and quality of software models.
This concept is relevant for researchers who work in the field of complex software systems
using model driven technology and for companies that build
large scale software like enterprise software offerings, data warehousing products, and software product lines.