Semantic equivalence

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In computer metadata, semantic equivalence is a declaration that two data elements from different vocabularies contain data that has similar meaning. There are three types of semantic equivalence statements:

  • Class or concept equivalence. A statement that two high level concepts have similar or equivalent meaning.
  • Property or attribute equivalence. A statement that two properties, descriptors or attributes of a classes have similar meaning.
  • Instance equivalence. A statement that two instances of data are the same or refer to the same instance.

Example[edit]

Assume that there are two organizations, each having a separate data dictionary. The first organization has a data element entry:

 <DataElement>
    <Name>PersonFamilyName</Name>
    <Definition>The name of a person shared with other members of their family.</Definition>
 <DataElement>

and a second organization has a data dictionary with a data element with the following entry:

 <DataElement>
    <Name>IndividualLastName</Name>
    <Definition>The name of an individual person shared with other members of their family.</Definition>
 <DataElement>

these two data elements can be considered to have the same meaning and can be marked as semantically equivalent.

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