Refined concept map
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Refined concept map is a development on the traditional concept maps.
In the refined concept maps we provide a constraint set of linking words along with the seed concepts and instruct the mapper to use the linking words from the given set only. This would enable the mapper to use the linking words unambiguously and thus would help to validate the hierarchy in the concept map.
Rationale for developing Refined Concept Map
In a domain of knowledge, concepts are present in a large (thousands) in number. On the contrary, the linking words (relation types) that connects these concepts are few in number. Meanings resides in the form of relations, and help to organize knowledge.
Concept map is a tool that helps to organize knowledge for meaningful learning. The linking words that are used to connect concepts provide meanings for the proposition and hence the domain of knowledge. Therefore it is very essential that the linking words have to be semantically accurate and valid. Since usually there is freedom in usage of linking words, these are basically adopted from the natural language and are used arbitrarily. As a result the maps become ambiguous in their representation. It is known that scientific knowledge is precise, rigorous, consistent and parsimonious in representation. When concept maps are used to represent scientific knowledge, it becomes very important to apply the above criteria so that the domain is accurately represented. Since linking word is a very important element in a concept map, we have to focus on the appropriate usage of them. This would help in resolving the ambiguities, and inconsistencies that a concept map can have and help to bring rigor in representing the scientific knowledge.
The refined concept mapping methodology proposes to use a constraint set of linking words while constructing the maps for a given domain. The linking words are also in correspondence in the kinds of semantic relationships such as part-whole, class-inclusion, spatial-inclusion, etc. A few of these are part of, belongs to, located in, etc. It is to be noted that when a particular kind of linking word is used, it is to be applied consistently throughout the map. With these criteria, the maps would lead to a representation of scientific knowledge in a rigorous, unambiguous, consistent and parsimonious nature.
The proposal of a constrain set of linking words (relation types) in the refined concept mapping methodology also seems parallels with the research on relations used in bio-medical ontologies. The relation ontology applied in GO, OBO, FMA, etc. follows a minimal set of relations (properties) to connect to concepts (classes).
- [Meena Kharatmal] Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, TIFR, Mumbai, India.
- [Nagarjuna G.] Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, TIFR, Mumbai, India.
- MyndBook.com—Free Online Tool for Generating Concept maps