Generate a Mind Map from any Text

Mind mapping is a powerful approach that is often used for research and creative thinking. Most of the web tools out there, however, do not explore the full potential of mind maps.

First, it is difficult to create mind maps. You have to spend a lot of time drawing the elements and the relations between them. InfraNodus has a unique text-to-graph visualization system that generates mind maps from your texts automatically:

Text to network graph visualization

To make your mind maps more precise, you can use #hashtags, [[wiki links]], or @mentions. For instance, "@feature_engineering is an important element of #machine_learning and #ai" will create a triangle with 3 nodes and 3 edges. Another example: if you write "[[green tea]] is good for [[health]] and has [[anti-inflammatory]] effects" InfraNodus will generate 3 nodes and connect them together.

The second problem is that most mind maps do not really provide insight into the relevant importance of the elements in the mind map and do not automatically detect the patterns emerging within.

This is where network analysis can be very useful for generating mind maps. The main advantage of representing a mind map as a network is that you can use all the tools from graph theory to get additional insight into the structure of your thoughts and ideas:

Mind map text network

InfraNodus mind mapping tool can show you what are the most influential ideas, the main clusers of topics identified in your mind maps, and — importantly — the current structural gaps in your ideas. That's where the new ideas are usually hiding and you can use InfraNodus' insight generation tool to come up with interesting research questions that will help you push your ideas further. Using the powerful tools from network science, such as community detection and node ranking algorithms, you can build your own mind map using the network logic as the template for thinking.

How to Convert any Text into a Mindmap

In order to create a mind map from a text, you need to add it to InfraNodus and let it be visualized as a network. The main concepts inside your text will be shown as the nodes and the connections will be shown as the edges. You can then explore the most influential terms and the main topics that emerge in this discourse and use advanced AI analytics to generate new ideas on top of this mind map.

First, create a new empty graph and then use the text or import your data to start creating your mind map.

Create a new mind map graph

Use our unique text-to-graph input where the #hashtags or @mentions are the nodes and your sentences describe the connections between them.

Add the elements into the mindmap

For example, a sentence like "#kidney is an organ important for #metabolism" will create a connection between the node "kidney" and "metabolism". If you wrote @kidney #metabolism #blood, you'd have the node "kidney" connecting to the nodes "metabolism" and "blood".

Use the text-to-graph input to create your network visualization

Gradually you will have the whole mindmap visualized as a graph, so you can see the most important elements, clusters, and how they are related.

See your mind map as a network graph.

You can also generate new ideas for the mind map if you look at the structural gaps in the graph using the Insight feature.

Find the structural holes in your mind map graph.

How is the Graph Metrics Calculated for Mind Maps?

The basic approach is based on our paper: InfraNodus: Generating Insight Using Network Analysis (Paranyushkin, 2019) (read it for free in the ACM library).

Every unique hashtag or mention is represented as a node while their co-occurrence is represented as a graph edge.

Next, we apply several node ranking and community detection measures, which range the nodes by betweenness centrality (discoursive influence) and groups them by communities (the nodes that are more densely connected together belong to the same topic, have the same color, and are located closer on the graph.

This is not usually done on mind maps but it provides the unique insights about the structure of your thought and knowledge: what are the most influential concepts, how diverse the structure of your thought is, what are the main meaning clusters and how they are related. More importantly, you can also discover the gaps in your knowledge or explore a new direction that may have not been available to you without this new perspective.

Try It Yourself

You can try this approach yourself using InfraNodus for any search query you're interested in:

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Custom Interactive Mind Mapping using Network Visualization

Custom interactive mind maps can be very useful for representing knowledge within any organization.

Contact us if you are interested in a particular use case or if you have any questions about creating a mind map based on your own source data.

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