Conceptual Graph Structures: Part 3

The benefits of using the CGS method of concept mapping

A conceptual graph structure, or CGS, is a mental model which can present macro or micro views. A CGS makes information explicit and clear by organizing concepts and procedures. This leads to cognitive breakthroughs, discoveries and innovation. Implicit relationships are revealed.

Types of CGS substructures and how they are built

There are four kinds of conceptual graph substructures, which correspond to four types of knowledge: causal network, goal hierarchy, taxonomy, or spatial relationships.

Within each type of substructure, there are a group of “legal” combinations of nodes and arcs.  This grammar is inherently applicable to human endeavors since it is based on the cognitive psychology and story comprehension research by Arthur Graesser.

With spatial relations, the easiest one to remember, concept nodes are connected to other concept nodes, by means of any type of spatial relations arc.

Taxonomies use five types of connectors to connect concepts, events, states, goals and goal-actions.

Causal network and goal hierarchy substructures are more complicated, and that’s why I’ve provided this cheat sheet of how to “legally” connect nodes to arcs:

Download PDF file of legal node/arc combinations when making conceptual graph structures

Other posts on the topic of Conceptual Graph Structures

Sallie Gordon-Becker, working with colleagues, developed the Conceptual Graph Structures (CGS) process. The arc structure is drawn from Arthur Graesser’s research into how people tell stories. The CGS guides, templates and instructions for the use of Conceptual Graph Structures were developed by myself and my colleague Scott Confer.The Visio stencil was developed by myself, Scott Confer and Andrew Rice.

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