This paper presents the concept of cognitive maps as an effective means of modeling physical systems as well as conceptual frameworks. The basic structure of cognitive maps is discussed by detailing the role of each of its basic constructs. System simulation using cognitive maps is also briefly discussed. Advanced variants as well as advancements pertaining to cognitive map modeling proposed by researchers over the past two decades are reviewed. A brief discussion on application areas of cognitive maps and its variants is also included. Looking at the increasing trend of applications of cognitive map modeling in the past two decades, it can be concluded that there is good potential in cognitive maps to play an important part in the developing arenas of artificial
intelligence and soft computing .