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I do not agree with the constraining of semantic interoperability to computers. Humans also need to establish semantic interoperability (they need to ensure that the terminology, abbreviations etc shared between two or more individuals is understood by all to mean the same thing. slade beard

Interoperability is about computer systems exchanging information -- not humans. The entire context of the term semantic interoperability is about computer systems exchanging information. The meaning of the term could someday evolve to include human context, but I have seen no evidence that this has yet happened. -- DBooth (talk) 23:26, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

Semantic Interoperability is a term that arose in the context of interchange of information among computers, and is therefore discussed in this article only in that context. However, a term that more explicitly mentions computers, Computable Semantic Interoperability, has also been used to refer to this concept, and that term has been added to the article as a synonym. Pacas (talk) 08:53, 8 January 2008 (UTC)pacas

I think the term "understanding" is sufficient when only humans are involved. This special term is useful mainly to discuss understanding as done by technical artefacts (systems, machines)... Andthu (talk) 00:50, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

The use of the term "understanding" as a capability of computers will often generate objections such as the above; at the current level of technology it would indeed be presumptuous to say that computers "understand" information they process. But in the article the term "understanding" is qualified by "some level of understanding" or "degree of understanding". The term "interpretation" has been used in place of "understanding" in some articles to avoid overstating the current capabilities of computers. But in the context where "understanding" is used in this article, substituting "interpretation" would lead to clumsier phraseology that will not be clearer. The author felt that putting in the qualifying phrase was adequate to convey that full computer "understanding" at the level of a human was not being claimed.


I share your opinion. Please take a look at my new proposed definition, which I wrote after reading your comments. One phrase, succint. Another phrase to introduce that there is to be a sender and a receiver (at least), there must be a communication between them, and that meaning should not be lost in the meanwhile... I tried to show that semantic interoperability is actually a simple concept, yet always complex to maintain...


I'd like to go a bit deeper in this discussion and challenge the use of the word interoperability with semantic and the premise that interoperability is limited to computer systems.

Interoperability/Interoperate definition has a rich cluster of meanings. Interoperability is a type of Compatibility, it's hyponym. Compatibility is a property of a relationship: a "state" where two or more entities, objects, qualities or concepts are able to coexist or work together in combination without problems or conflict. Exploring the word Interoperability, we find two roots: inter and operability. In this case, inter- is a preposition meaning between two or more entities, objects, qualities or concepts. The other root, operability, is a hyponymic word meaning "capability to do work or act". So in plain terms, interoperability means "two or more things working or acting together". In other words, Interoperability is a hypernym of Compatibility that focuses only on activities and actions. Since semantics are a meanings of a word/icon, they are a property and 'state' of the word.

The state of a word has no ability to execute an activity or take any action, and therefore it is inappropriate to use the word interoperability in conjunction with the word semantic or the word "data". — Preceding unsigned comment added by Garymazz (talkcontribs) 09:03, 18 February 2019 (UTC)

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