ISSN 2079-3537      


Scientific Visualization, 2018, volume 10, number 4, pages 13 - 29, DOI: 10.26583/sv.10.4.02

Visualization Metaphors for Fuzzy Cognitive Maps

Authors: A.G. Podvesovskii1, R.A. Isaev2

Bryansk State Technical University

1 ORCID: 0000-0002-1118-3266,

2 ORCID: 0000-0003-3263-4051,



At present, a cognitive approach is widely used for modeling and decision support in semi-structured systems. This approach focuses on the development of formal models and methods supporting the intelligent problem-solving process as they take into account human cognitive capabilities (perception, conception, cognition, understanding, explanation). In general terms, a cognitive model is thought of as a model of expert knowledge about a system, processes occurring in it and laws and principles of its functioning represented as a cognitive map. A causal network which reflects researcher's subjective notion of the system as a number of semantic categories known as factors or concepts and a set of cause-and-effect relations between them is referred to as a cognitive map.
One of the key ideas in effective dealing with a cognitive model is providing its visual representation. In the paper, a visualization metaphor for fuzzy cognitive maps is proposed and its two components, namely spatial metaphor and representation metaphor, are defined. Graphs visualization algorithms and cognitive clarity notion form the basis for constructing a visualization metaphor. To assess the level of cognitive clarity, a set of criteria is proposed.
The mechanism of interactive control of a visual image of a fuzzy cognitive map in the cognitive modeling support system IGLA is considered. This mechanism provides flexible adjustment of representation metaphors visual characteristics, which allows the researcher to focus on the aspects of a cognitive model that are of most interest to him at a particular stage of the analysis.
The possibilities of using visualization metaphors and interactive control of the fuzzy cognitive maps visual representation in IGLA system are illustrated by the example of a cognitive model of decision support in tooling design.


Keywords: fuzzy cognitive map, graph visualization, cognitive clarity, visualization metaphor.