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Mind Mapping Based Human Memory Management

ZHANG Yan-lei1, XIAO Shuang-jiu1, YANG Xu-bo1 , DING Lei1
Digital Art Lab, Software School, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China , ,

Abstract— Mind mapping is an excellent method for aiding

human memory. But it still has some aspect that needs to be II. Mind Mapping
improved. This paper presents a mind mapping based on
human memory management system. Compared with A. Mind Mapping can Enhance Memory
traditional mind mapping system, this system establishes By research, below are the main contents which brain
relationships between key words in different mind maps, and will remember in the learning process.
combines existing mind maps into a large knowledge net.
Certain suggestions could be automatically provided when a • The content learned at the beginning period.
user edits his mind maps. The knowledge based mind map
could be reviewed in 2D and 3D mode. The structure of the • The content learned at the end period.
knowledge net is defined to make memorizing much more • The content has relationship to some already known
knowledge or some current learning knowledge.
Key Words: Mind Mapping; Computer Aided Memory; • The content has been emphasized or highlighted.
Knowledge Net
• The content has particularly attracted to one of
I. Introduction human facial features.
Mind mapping, which was brought out by English • The content of user's interest.
Scholar Tony Buzan, the chairman of Brain Foundation, is a Mind mapping can reflect most of the above features,
method used to generate, visualize, structure and classify especially the association and emphasis. The two elements
ideas helping human memorizing. A mind map is a diagram are main factors of memory. So mind mapping is an
containing key words and pictures. It can show relationships excellent method for aiding human memory.
between all key words at all levels clearly, and it can build
the memory link from the key words to the pictures and
B. The Advantage of Mind Mapping compared with
colors. It fully utilizes both the left and right brain, and can
be used as a memory aided tool in any field of study, work Traditional Memory Method
and life. 1) Divergent Thinking
In traditional memory method, the information is
The elements of a mind map are arranged intuitively recorded line by line, from top to bottom. It seems that the
according to the importance of the concepts, and marked by knowledge is sorted in order. But actually it does not aid
different colors and pictures. The elements are classified into memory at all.
groupings, branches or areas, with the goal of representing
semantic or other connections between portions of Mind mapping use the divergent form to record
information. Mind maps may also aid recall of existing information, the same way as human brain. Your subjective
memories. intention is naturally shown on the map, the key words are
all arranged in space. You can easily remember the whole
But there are still some shortcomings of mind mapping map.
when it is used to help memory. First, mind maps are
isolated lacking of relations between memory knots in Recalling starts with a series of inspirations and goes
different mind maps. Each mind map are individual, and it further by the connection between them.
can show only what has been drawn on it. Therefore, ones'
memory will be cut into small pieces. Second, when a user is 2) Key Words
creating a mind map, the computer cannot provide any In mind mapping system, important contents are
information about the current key word, even if the key word expressed by key words. But in traditional memory method
has been used before. Third, the method of reviewing these key words hide among a lot of comparatively
existing mind map systems is limited in 2D. An improved unimportant words. Hence it hampers the brain from getting
mind mapping system will be introduced in the following the associations between the key words.
part. When you use key words, they force you to think about
what is the point, what kind of relations between them. It
will help you on systematic integration of knowledge rapidly.

978-1-4244-5392-4/10/$26.00 ©2010 IEEE

Thus, it can create the extremely favorable conditions for key words will be stored in the computer. The
you on knowledge mastery. information will construct users' own memory
database — knowledge net in another word. The
3) Colorful Background and Pictures database will be larger and larger while more and
In traditional memory method, notes contain texts only, more mind maps are created. When the user enter
and the color of the text is usually unchanged. These one key word while creating a new mind map, if this
monotonous notes make the main points looking similar. key word has been used before, in other words, this
You cannot find the key point immediately. In this way, the key word can be found in the knowledge net, the
brain may come to a hypnotic state, it will reject and computer will provide many related associations of
contradict to absorb any information. this key word, like the linked picture, the adjacent
Mind mapping uses a lot of images, shapes. It uses key words and so on. Repeated suggestion will
different colors to highlight the key words and the links. consolidate human memory.
Then, you can connect the key words with the color and • Providing multiple review methods of mind map
pictures, it also uses your visual sensors to help memorizing. including 2D map browsing and 3D scene touring.
The brain will become more and more sober, more and more The key word in 2D mind map will be shown as a
willing to accept new information. house in the 3D scene, and the links between the key
4) Utilize both left and right brain words will be shown as passageways which can
Tony Buzzan said that "The traditional method of taking connected with those houses. Users can walk
notes uses only a small part of the brain, because it mainly through the passageways freely; wander from one
uses the logic and the linear model."Traditional memory house to another; walk through the whole mind map
method only use three tools of the cortex. if there is a path. It is human nature that human will
remember things much better if he contacts with
Mind mapping fully utilizes both left and right brain, multiple senses: For the same story, compared with
using color, image and symbol to make thinking more funny reading books, you can remember more by watching
and memory more easily. movies. Multiple senses will be used to review mind
map in 3D mode, while only visual sense is used in
III. The Memory Management System based on Mind 2D mode. As a result, 3D mind map brings a much
Mapping and Knowledge Net better effect for human to memorize things.
As mentioned in the previous section, there are still some
shortcomings of mind mapping when it is used to help B. System Architecture
memory. The memory management system will be The system provides a platform for user to use mind map.
introduced in this section. The system is based on Mind User can take basic operations like creating and editing mind
Mapping and use the concept of knowledge net to resolve map, inserting pictures, using different colors to highlight the
those shortcomings. key words, and so on. Besides the basic operations, the
system can combine two or more mind maps; users can
A. System Innovation compared with Traditional Mind review the mind map in 3D mode and get the suggestion
Mapping System automatically.
Nowadays, there are many mind mapping systems in the The system applys the concept of knowledge net to
market. They are just drawing tools for mind map, not very construct personal memory database, so it can provide much
clear for the memory aiding target. The main goal of the information which traditional mind mapping cannot give.
memory management system is to help human memory. Figure 1 illustrates the architecture of the system.
This system is designed as following:
• Combining two or more existing mind maps into a
new large mind map. The same key words will be
detected, and treated as only one key word. The
related key words from different mind maps will all
be linked to this one. In this way, old and new mind
maps which have overlapping are connected. It is
very important to combine old and new knowledge,
because human always remember new information
based on the existing information. New knowledge
should be integrated into the existing cognitive
memory structures, then it can change the original
cognitive memory structures to assimilate the new
• Providing related association of the key word if it
has been used before. All related information of the
Figure 1. System Architecture
In the system, key words in different mind maps will be
treated as the same if the key word contents are the same. So
C. System Design when user created a new mind map, the system will detected
The amount of information people received every day is in the key word library whether the key word already exists.
quite huge. One single mind map can onle record a very If the key word isn't in the library, the system will create a
small part of it and there must have some information new one; if the key word already exists, the system just
overlapping between different mind maps. So it is definitely needs to modify the related key word part, appending the
not enough to save the single mind map only. The data related key word ID. In this way, the knowledge net is
storage of the system is divided into two parts: individual updated.
mind map files and the large personal knowledge net. It takes longer time to compare two strings than two
integers. That's why system hashes the keywords into an
1) Personal Knowledge Net
integer. The system just needs to compare the hash code to
The knowledge representation of mind mapping is key
detect whether the key word already existed in the library.
words and the connection between them. The record of the
key words and their connection is the record of the mind map, 2) Individual Mind Map Files
and it is the record of person's memory. The focus of individual Files is to store the details of
The personal knowledge net is used to store the entire each mind map. It does not need to store the information of
information which user entered. It composes of two parts: every key words, these basic information can be found in the
key word library and multimedia library. The key word key word library.
library stores all key words and the connections in all mind Besides the key word and their connection, the outward
maps user created. The multimedia library stores all appearance of each mind map is also very important.
multimedia related to all mind maps, like pictures, videos Background color, text color, line color and variety pictures
and so on. can provoke human brain and help memorizing things. The
Personal knowledge net is the raw database. It stores information cannot be ignored, this information will be
massive data and provides the basic information for the stored in the individual mind map files. Below, Figure 4
individual mind map files. So the data structure in personal shows the data structure.
knowledge net is the simpler the better. Below Figure 2 and
Figure 3 shows the data structure.

Figure 2 Data Structure of Key Word

Figure 4 Data Structure of Individual Mind Map File

D. Implementation of the Innovation Functions

Combining different mind maps: Each single mind map
file is stored in the memory database. When combining the
mind maps, system compares the key words' ID, then link all
the connected key words to the same one, then the new large
mind map is created.
Figure 3 Data Structure of Multimedia 3D scene touring: The 3D scene is rendered by OGRE,
and the information all provided by the memory database.
When you review one key word, the key words content, the
multimedia related to the key words, the connected key
words, all this information can be found in the database.
Certain suggestion: All relationships of the key words are
stored in the key word library. When you create a new mind
map, if the key word you entered already exists in the key
word library, the system can read all the information about
this key word and provide you the related key words.

IV. Conclusion
The paper presents a new way to manage data of mind
map. The memory management system uses mind mapping
to enhance human memory and uses knowledge net to
construct its memory database. Many derivative functions
can be implemented by using the database. These functions
make the system more useful on aiding human memory.

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