minimal set of relation names in RCM

as part of my ph.d. work in the area of refined concept map (RCM) in biology education, i am working on analyzing the school textbooks of 8, 9, 11 standards on the domain of cell biology. i mapped the domain of each 3 standards using the RCM method i.e. using a fixed and a minimal set of relation names for mapping the concepts.  the hypothesis of the study was that even if the complexity in the domain increases with an increase in the number of concepts, but the relation names that provide meaning to these concepts would be a fixed and a minimal set. the following is a brief summary of the results:

std.          no. of concepts             no. of relation names

8                             75                                        11

9                           195                                        16

11                         500                                        15

the most widely used relation names are: consists of, includes, comprised of, surrounded by, located in, has function, has attribute.

i am also analyzing the other components involved, such as the frequency of relation names, the no. of concepts connected to specific relation names, etc.  across all the 3 standards.

it is really an interesting and exciting exercise which i enjoy working on.


6 Responses to minimal set of relation names in RCM

  1. gnowgi says:

    If the method is to use minimal set of relation names, then how will there be any increase? It will be interesting to know if the relation names counted are the names used in the text book or your paraphrasing?

  2. Meena says:

    the increase in relation names means an increase in the newer kinds of relation names for representing the newer dimensions. it is possible to come up with a constant number though.

    actually the relation names are derived from my paraphrasing. the relation names from the textbook would definitely be a much larger number.

  3. gnowgi says:

    that is indeed the reason why the relations do not increase. what the study tell us is that though people do use different relation names, it is possible to use a minimal set without loss of meaning.
    But, you infer something else.

  4. Dr Bachodi Devadasa Pai says:

    i have doubt about the standards set as “minimal” for set of relation, which may vary when the content as appears in the text book is not taken as such, but parafraced separatly by the investigator.

  5. it is possible that the number may vary. but we hypothesize that this variation in number of relation names would not be enormous.

    the reason for paraphrasing the text is that at times the text has implicit knowledge embedded which first requires to be clarified inorder to get exact sense and therefore we paraphrase. while paraphrasing what gets added up is that the proposition becomes clear, the accurate relation name is used, by keeping the concept names same. so paraphrasing acts as an interpreter which is facilitating in bringing clarity to the sentences.

    in the present study that i am doing on UG level book, i am taking each sentence and complementing it with rcm proposition.

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