A graph-theoretic perspective on the links-to-concepts ratio expected in cognitive maps
Strategic options development and analysis (SODA) has maintained that it expects a links-to-concepts ratio of 1.15-1.20 in cognitive maps. This expectation is investigated from a graph-theoretic perspective in order to highlight two issues that the SODA literature has not mentioned. First, the ratio is impossible to achieve in tree-structured maps. Second, adherence to the expectation can result in minimally connected maps. Both issues are discussed with examples and calculations, and a conclusion is drawn that graph theory is a potentially rich, yet relatively untapped, source of insights for not only SODA, but for soft OR and systems thinking in general. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.