Semantic Field

Network of terms delimited by subject

Introduction to the notion

Before being in a position to design a first model, the analyst can take a less formal approach. As an initial approach, the semantic field technique allows him/her to gather and organize the terminology of the domain analyzed. This very simple technique is less formal. It involves jotting down on paper, the terms present in the universe of discourse and linking them according to their semantic proximity. In this first step, there are only two categories of representation:

  • terms;
  • relations between terms (arrows, if necessary accompanied by a label which expresses the nature of the relation between the two terms).

The semantic field tolerates synonyms. It is a pre-modeling technique, akin to the thesaurus, bridging in this way the raw materials and the first model. It enables a first take at organizing the material, which will be leveraged by the modeler afterward. The passage from semantic fields to model, requires the modeler to decide on each term, eliminate synonyms and redundancy, determine the most suitable type of modeling element…


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