How to automate the creation of mind maps?

Is it possible to develop/tag components of your software such that some tool can automatically generate a mind map for the software, or at least make a mind map of its features/structure? Is this automation a good idea ? Are there any articles for this ? Do such tools exist ?

Consider a simple app like Microsoft Paint for Windows computers. It might be easy to automate the mind map for such simple, standalone apps. But, I am not sure about more complex ones which talk to third parties over a network.

1 - Paint is not something simple; vide open-source alternatives like Pinta;

2 - “A mind map for X” is not something straightforward. A mind map can have anything. What you would need to do is to put the information you want to extract in a data structure and create a compiler to map this data structure to the text format that a mind-map tool uses. E.g., Text2MindMap.

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If you are looking for a tool that would automatically construct your mind map, it’s a bad idea.

First of all, why would you do that? Mind Map is a way to organize thoughts, so that you can create strategies and look at problems from various angles. It is typically used when interacting with another member, or a team to come up with ideas, i.e. brainstorming. If you automate this task, then there’s no confluence of the brains!

Let’s say you automate Mind Map creation, what is it that you are achieving? Who are you going to show that Mind Map to? Are you feeding your Mind Map then to another program to generate a specification or code? I can assure you that your specification/code will definitely fall short of your expectations of a thought-about system.

Hope that helps, and let me know if you have questions.

Hi Raghu,

Sometimes a simple mind map form is just a visual representation of a bullet list. :wink: So the rendering of a simple mind map structure can be automated.

Depending on the type of solution you can tag your code base. And I would assume that there are tools that can derive a model of your solution based on that. I would expect to find such a tool among IDE plugins, atlassian analysis tools etc - if you have a lead solution architect I would ask her. The output of such modelling tool could very well be a mind map, a bullet list, or a wiki page.

There could be some value in this, but the model would only be as good as the data/tags and the modelling on top. And you have to keep this too consistently updated by the whole team.

I hope this get’s you in the right direction of ways to model your system under test smarter :slight_smile:


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