"A semantic network or net is a graphic notation for representing knowledge in patterns of interconnected nodes and arcs. Computer implementations of semantic networks were first developed for artificial intelligence and machine translation, but earlier versions have long been used in philosophy, psychology, and linguistics. What is common to all semantic networks is a declarative graphic representation that can be used either to represent knowledge or to support automated systems for reasoning about knowledge. Some versions are highly informal, but other versions are formally defined systems of logic. ...The oldest known semantic network was drawn in the 3rd century AD by the Greek philosopher Porphyry in his commentary on Aristotle's categories."
– from John F. Sowa, Semantic Networks, revised and extended version of article originally written for the Encyclopedia of Artificial Intelligence, edited by Stuart C. Shapiro, Wiley, 1987, second edition, 1992.