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HiveMind — cross-platform collaborative mind map editor

Background and Motivation: 

Mind map is a means of hierarchical data representation which is often used in study, project management, problem solving, brainstorming and many other activities. Mind mapping often involves many people of different occupations. It is not easy to provide all the members of a discussion with an equal ability to contribute. It is a real challenge to collaborate when participants are spread across space. The lack of approaches for distributed collaboration leads to loss of productivity and someone's ideas. Mobile devices open new capabilities in collaboration. They would overcome the mentioned problems. When using such an approach no one gets left behind in discussion despite his or her location. Unfortunately existing tools for mobile devices have a lack of functionality, existing on-line services usually require paid accounts or do not take into consideration peculiarities of mobile devices.

Project Summary: 
The project is intended to development of concept and tools for collaborative mind mapping. This concept is required due to a lack of knowledge on how to efficiently organize such a collaboration. The basic model to be considered is brainstorming which is focused on stimulation of participants' creativity and producing bunches of possible solutions. One common problems of brainstorming is documenting its results. Notebooks, dictaphones and even video recorders are often ineffective for protocoling or waste of time for subsequent processing. We suppose that using mind maps on mobile devices promises great perspectives for documenting brainstorming activities and effective collaboration. Involving PC users in the process also looks desirable.
 
We develop a cross-platform application which allows collaborative mind mapping. The main features of such an application would be:
  • Full-function local mind mapping
  • Interface optimized for usage on mobile devices (Maemo/MeeGo platform) and PC
  • Interoperability with FreeMind application by using its file format for input/output
  • Chat for live discussion (integration with an external IM application is also possible)
  • Collaborative mind mapping for presentation of emerged ideas
  • Distributed architecture with an ability to start collaboration at any moment without necessity of specially configured server or on-line service.
Project goals and future research directions: 
<p class="rtejustify">There are two main goals of the project. The first one is to create a concept of collaboration involving mind maps and mobile devices. The second goal is to develop a cross-platform application for Maemo/MeeGo platforms and PC's, which allows collaborative mind mapping.</p>
Status: 
Graduate
Project Timeline and Expected Deliverables: 
  • Summer 2010. HiveMind application for local mind mapping on mobile device
  • Autumn 2010. Concept of collaborative mind mapping with demo implementation
  • Spring 2011. HiveMind application for distributed mind mapping on mobile device and PC, promoted to maemo-extras-testing. New use cases for collaborative mind mapping
  • Autumn 2011. Final report at FRUCT conference
  • Winter 2011-2012. Final project release

Publications

A. Vasilev, A. Golovchenko, A. Kulikov, I. Paramonov. "HiveMind: Cross-platform Application for Collaborative Mind Mapping." in Proc. 8th Conference of Open Innovations Framework Program FRUCT,  2010, pp. 9-12.

A. Vasilev, A. Golovchenko, A. Kulikov, I. Paramonov. "HiveMind Project: Collaborative Mind Mapping Concept and Its Implementation." Acta Universitatis Lappeenrantaensis 440, pp. 1-5, 2011.

A. Vasilev, O. Kandaurov, A. Kulikov, I. Paramonov. "HiveMind Collaborative Mind Map Editor: Architecture and Implementation of Network Subsystem." in Proc. 9th Conference of Open Innovation Community FRUCT and 1st Regional MeeGo Summit Russia-Finland, 2011, pp. 25-29.

A. Vasilev, O. Kandaurov, I. Paramonov. "Integration of HiveMind Application into Smart Conference System." is Proc. Congress on intelligent systems and information technologies "IS&IT'11", 2011, pp. 2-10.

A.Vasilev, O. Kandaurov, E. Mamedov, I. Paramonov. "Interaction of HiveMind Application with Smart Conference System" in Proc. 10th Conference of Open Innovation Association FRUCT and the 2nd Finnish-Russian Mobile Linux Summit, 2011, pp. 7-11.

The project repository is available here (Mercurial VCS).

Final deadline: 
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 (All day)