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I think that in a week or two I may have a problem like this. I will have a list of "concepts" and for every pair of concepts a measure of how often they are associated. I would like to draw a diagram/map showing this association graphically in a web page. This problem sounds very much like one from cladistics, but not being of that profession myself I would not know.

My proposed solution (ignoring edge cases and ambiguities)

  1. Find the pair with the highest association metric, draw them in the middle of the graph joined by a line.
  2. Those two nodes form the edge of the graph.
  3. For each node n in the edge of the graph, find the most highly associated two nodes not already taken and join them to n. They are now added to the edge and n removed from the edge.
  4. Go back to step 3.


  • Is this algorithm (or variant) implemented as a perl module anywhere?
  • If not any general thoughts?
  • Are any you of you cladists?


I had another look on CPAN after looking at the word "cladogram" and came up with Bio::Phylo. Still it's rather a lot for me to take in.

In reply to RFC: Conceptual association by SilasTheMonk

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