*This page is designed to take you through the basics of the SemNet program. You should have a better understanding of SemNet once you have finished this tutorial. This tutorial provides an introduction to semantic networks, and to the basics of reviewing and constructing them with SemNet. With the step-by-step instructions, you can try your hand at reviewing a network which you can build on your own. This tutorial explores only a small portion of the capabilities of SemNet. The tutorial assumes that you understand how to perform basic Macintosh operations such as using menus, using the mouse, and opening and closing windows and documents. If you need help with these operations, you should first consult the Macintosh System Software User Guide before trying to use SemNet.If you require further help using SemNet you can download the SemNet manual from the bottom of this page.

If you would like the address of the SemNet research group and see the creators of SemNet Click here!   


If you are ready, on to the Tutorial...


The first thing you need to do is open SemNet. Double click on the SemNet icon () after you have downloaded the program. Opening the SemNet application should get you to the following screen. Keep in mind that the following frames are from a newer version of SemNet not yet available to the public. The program you are using behaves in the exact same way without the colors!

Now you have to create a central concept or unifying theme. This central concept is the central idea you are going to describe. On the menu bar choose Concept and then scroll down to Create and let go of the mouse or click the mouse.

Now, you should see the following screen. You must now enter a new concept name. You can choose anything that you like.

For the purpose of this tutorial, our central concept will be Earth. You now should see the following screen.

After typing in Earth press OK. Then you should see the following screen.

Now that we have a central unifying concept we can create other related concepts. First we have to create a relation. Do this by selecting Create under Instance.

After you have clicked or let go of the mouse button you should see the following screen.

Now we have to create a relation to the earth. In the Relation box type in has continent. This will be one of the relations in our net.

Now we must choose a related concept. Since most of the creators of SemNet live in the United States go ahead and type in North America under the Related Concept box.

After you have typed in North America, press OK. Doing this will get you to another screen. You will have the Relation screen. This screen by default will choose to display the relations assymetrically. For this tutorial do not change anything on the screen. It has also chosen an up name and a down name. By default, when you type a relation of has ****, the reverse relation will always be **** of. You will find similar cases of other relations. The two clocks that you see will determine the positioning of the relation rays. You can change these as you add more related concepts. For this tutorial, we will leave everything as is so go ahead and press OK.

Now you should see the following screen.

Now you have a central concept and a related concept. To make North America the central concept double click on it and you should see the following screen.

Now we would like to make another concept that is related to North America. Under the Instance menu choose Create.

Now we can come up with another relation ray and another related concept. Since North America has countries we can use the relation has country and the related concept will be the United States. Now, fill in the Relation box and the Related Concept box with what is below. After you have done this press OK.

Now you should have the following screen. Notice that both of the clocks show 12:00 and 6:00 respectively. We remember that we have all ready used those times for the first relation rays. Click on each clock to make the relation rays appear at 2:00 and 8:00 respectively.

Once you have done this you should see the following screen.

Now you can press OK and the new relation rays will appear at the 2:00 and the 8:00 position. You should get the following screen after you press OK.

Now if you double click on the United States you can see that North America is now at the 2:00 position. You should see the following screen.

Go ahead and double click North America to make it the central concept. We now need to add a few more countries to North America. Now you should be back to the screen with North America as the central concept.

Now we need to add another country to the list. To add more countries select Create under the Instance menu and you will get the following screen.

On this screen move the cursor over the pull down menu next to the Relation box and select has country from the menu. The following screen is what you should see when you do this.

Now you need to highlight North America in the Related Concept box by clicking and dragging the mouse over it. After you have done this type Mexico and it should replace North America. You should see the following screen.

After you have replaced North America with Mexico press OK and you should see the following screen.

You now can create related concepts and relations. To add more continents to the list just make Earth the central concept and use the same instructions as adding Mexico to the list of countries. Now we will need to save our net. To do this select Save as under the File menu. Name the file "Earth" and save it anywhere you would like. The following screen shows how to save the file.

After saving the file your screen that has been labeled "Untitled" is now named "Earth" (see below). You may continue on and add more concepts and relations or if you choose to, make your own net!

This concludes our SemNet tutorial. You now have the basic skills to create a net. If you would like to learn more about SemNet you can also download the manual by clicking the icon below.