Exploring the Potential of User Modeling Based on Mind Maps

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9146)


Mind maps have not received much attention in the user modeling and recommender system community, although mind maps contain rich information that could be valuable for user-modeling and recommender systems. In this paper, we explored the effectiveness of standard user-modeling approaches applied to mind maps. Additionally, we develop novel user modeling approaches that consider the unique characteristics of mind maps. The approaches are applied and evaluated using our mind mapping and reference-management software Docear. Docear displayed 430,893 research paper recommendations, based on 4,700 user mind maps, from March 2013 to August 2014. The evaluation shows that standard user modeling approaches are reasonably effective when applied to mind maps, with click-through rates (CTR) between 1.16% and 3.92%. However, when adjusting user modeling to the unique characteristics of mind maps, a higher CTR of 7.20% could be achieved. A user study confirmed the high effectiveness of the mind map specific approach with an average rating of 3.23 (out of 5), compared to a rating of 2.53 for the best baseline. Our research shows that mind map-specific user modeling has a high potential, and we hope that our results initiate a discussion that encourages researchers to pursue research in this field and developers to integrate recommender systems into their mind mapping tools.


Mind map User modeling Recommender systems 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DocearMagdeburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of CyprusNicosiaCyprus
  3. 3.Department of Computer and Information ScienceUniversity of KonstanzKonstanzGermany

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