on the Move
of ARIZ Enhancement, by
Boris Zlotin and Alla Zusman, originally published in Journal of TRIZ
3, No. 1, 1992
to 'ARIZ on the Move'
Zlotin and Alla Zusman
The knowledge we accumulated through
continuous study of the evolution of various systems and subjects,
including the evolution of science in general, has taught us the
- It is usually an individual who gives
birth to a new science. Still, a single human life, even that of a
genius, is not enough to build more than just the foundation of a
science. To bring a science to its fruition requires the joint efforts
of many scientists.
- There are certain conditions required
for a science to emerge and develop. One of the most important of
these is the open exchange of information, whereby an individual
capable and willing to contribute can assess the foundation and status
of an art in order to take the next step in advancing a theory.
- Early commercialization of scientific
achievements usually hinders the process of nurturing a young science,
forcing people to "grab a piece of the action," adapt the
science to his or her personal qualifications and capitalize on it.
People are being divided rather than united, which is not healthy for
the scientific community.
Our ambitions and commercial goals
notwithstanding, we felt personally responsible for how TRIZ had been
disseminated in the Soviet Union and was currently being introduced to the
Western world. Before 1992 we had participated in every TRIZ conference
and published numerous papers on TRIZ both in popular and specialized
magazines, including the original Journal of TRIZ published by the
TRIZ Association (chief publisher, Kirill Sklobovskiy). For various
reasons we were unable to continue that level of activity in the United
States. But we never stopped advancing the science of TRIZ and the sharing
of our knowledge and experience with American professionals desiring to
"get to the bottom line", i.e. to understand what TRIZ is and
how it works, so they can become TRIZ specialists.
Today the situation is different. Interest
in TRIZ has grown, with hundreds of people searching the Internet daily
for information on TRIZ. It is not fair to these ‘seekers’ that the
world of TRIZ (in cyberspace and elsewhere) be left to those who are,
quite simply, not qualified to provide the public with structured,
systematic and up-to-date knowledge, as well as the true history of the
subject. To remedy this situation, we have begun the process of
translating and publishing selected articles from the original Journal
of TRIZ mentioned above. Nearly 300 articles were published in 14
issues of the Journal. These publications will provide vitally needed
information related to the main elements of TRIZ as well as its history
and evolution, and answer the questions of "Who’s who?" and
"What’s what?" in TRIZ.
The first of these articles are devoted to
ARIZ (the Algorithm for Inventive Problem Solving). We chose this subject
for two reasons:
- It is clear that, after five years of
excitement over the Contradiction Table and the 40 Innovation
Principles (both of which were developed in the mid-1960s), the
interests of new and potential TRIZ users has shifted to more powerful
tools like ARIZ. Actually, ARIZ is the opposite of the Contradiction
Table in terms of complexity and effectiveness. Non-selective
application of this extremely powerful though very complex and
complicated tool can be very frustrating because ARIZ is
cost-effective only for those problems which are truly unique.
Usually, the solution to these problems cannot be drawn by analogy
from other knowledge domains, but rather should be built from scratch
the way a unique house is made from bricks according to a special
design rather than from ready-to-assemble modules. According to
Altshuller’s research, less than 5% of the problems encountered in
daily engineering activity are problems of this type. (It should be
noted that attempting to apply the Contradiction Table to non-typical
problem situations is no less frustrating due to its own limitations.)
- Another reason is that the history of
the development of ARIZ is a good illustration of the process
developed by Altshuller for introducing new and advanced TRIZ tools.
This process included a judicious and centralized initial presentation
of the tool along with mandatory testing of its validity and
applicability. Each modification to an existing tool or theory was
first tested on educational case studies by Altshuller and the best
TRIZ specialists, then utilized experimentally during TRIZ seminars,
and finally tested on different real-life situations. This process was
an effective way to prevent the damage that might otherwise have
resulted from the irresponsible introduction of untested
modifications. In the case of ARIZ it was a simple matter to recommend
changes – on the surface, ARIZ appears deceptively uncomplicated and
merely rewording or changing the order of its steps can constitute
significant revisions whose effectiveness can only be determined by
rigorous testing. (In fact, modifications to ARIZ and other tools
became the favorite pursuit of TRIZ novices.)
Embarking, then, on this historical journey
of rediscovery, the following two articles published in the Journal of
TRIZ in 1992 (Volume 3, Issue 1) are offered here:
History of ARIZ Development
by G. S. Altshuller
The following article has been condensed
from information presented at the seminar "Theory of Inventive
Problem Solving" held at the School of Management, Simferopol,
WE NEED THIS SESSION
- ARIZ looks like a complicated subject.
This session will demonstrate the logical way new ARIZ elements are
- ARIZ is evolving quickly. It is
important to understand the systematic way in which it has evolved
- ARIZ represents a mechanism of systemic
thinking. Analyzing its evolution helps develop various algorithms for
solving problems in non-technical areas (science, the arts, etc.).
The notion that technological systems
evolve according to certain patterns that can be understood and
purposefully used to solve problems emerged in 1946. Since 1948, the work
in this area has become vitally important.
Initially, the intention was to build a method
for inventing as a set of rules such as: "Solving a problem means
finding and resolving a technical contradiction," or "For any
given solution, the less material, energy, space and time used, the more
powerful it is." This method was intended to include typical
innovation principles such as segmentation, integration, inversion,
changing the aggregate state, replacing a mechanical system with a
chemical system, etc. These rules and principles were to be (and are)
based on research and information compiled about the inventive activities
of famous inventors, by interviewing known inventors, the analysis of
personal inventive practices, and other available technical information
including the history of technology.
ARIZ-56 is a set of steps for problem
solving rather than an algorithm or program (in the way that a Table of
Contents is not yet a book). It was influenced by the practices of the
best inventors of the past; the analysis of patents was not yet a main
tool for ARIZ development. The operational part of ARIZ-56 recalls
Synectics because of its reliance on analogic thinking (primarily in its
use of natural prototypes). Journal: Questions of Psychology,
– It was precisely
stated that solving a problem means revealing and resolving a technical
– It incorporated the concept of reaching beyond the
boundaries of the immediate subject.
An example of the practical implementation
of ARIZ-56 is the solution of the problem of developing a thermal
In the mid-1950s, a strong understanding
had grown that all inventors, even the most successful ones, work
extremely ineffectively. They used trial-and-error methods and it was
therefore senseless to attempt to uncover and put to use the "secrets
of creativity." What did make sense was to build a completely new
technology based on the objective patterns of technological evolution,
which could be revealed through a systematic analysis of the extensive
bulk of patent information.
SYNTHESIS OF A PROGRAM FOR PROBLEM SOLVING BEGINS
ARIZ-59 represents the beginning of a long
journey toward a structured algorithm supported by a set of tools for
sequential use (operators, knowledge base units, etc.). The first steps, a
chain of operations, appears. As of yet there is no system – the steps
can be interchanged. "Natural prototypes" are moved to the end
of the operational portion of ARIZ. A new and important step is
introduced: identification of the Ultimate Final Result (Solution). Journal:
Inventor and Innovator, 1959, #10.
ARIZ-59 resulted from a number of seminars
conducted in the construction industry of Azerbaijan. Examples of
practical implementation: electro-thermal jack, spiral binding for clamps
(J. A. Ismailov), and a grape espalier without poles.
By the end of the 1950s it became obvious
that a "method of inventing" must include, besides ARIZ, the
patterns of technological evolution and the constantly growing knowledge
base. In fact, what was originally intended, as a "method of
inventing" would be more appropriately termed a science of
invention. There was strong resistance – those opposed to the notion
of a science of invention had become accustomed to the existence of a
"method of inventing." After all, it merely amounted to a set of
useful recommendations based on analysis of the experience of inventors. A
science of invention, however, threatened more than a few "sacred
cows." It denied the uniqueness of history’s great inventors and
intruded upon the common perception of the incomprehensible nature of the
creative process. While "method of inventing" helped in terms of
gaining insight to inventive thinking, a "science of invention"
in effect cancelled the old notions, including that of creativity as an
innate capability. This, in other words, was nothing less than pure heresy
. . .
ARIZ-61 was an improved version of ARIZ-59,
based on a set of seminars conducted in cities other than Baku in Donetsk,
Tambov, Ryazan. The operational part of ARIZ-61 is extended but the rules
for fulfilling the recommendations of each step are still missing, as well
as the special steps later incorporated for controlling psychological
inertia. (G. S. Altshuller, "How to learn how to invent".
Tambov Book Publishing House, 1961).
Examples of practical implementation are
problems related to a mine pile (Donetsk) and the sequential transport of
oil products (Stavropol).
OF THE PROGRAM
ARIZ-64 introduces the section on
"Clarifying and verifying the problem statement." This is
a significant change and one that indicates a new direction in ARIZ
development – as that of a tool for obtaining powerful solutions
to difficult problems. The rules for fulfilling the recommendations
have been introduced (step 2.1). The first table of Innovation Principles
has been developed. (G. S. Altshuller. "Basics of the Method of
Inventing," Voroneg, Central Chernosem Publishing House, 1964).
Example of practical implementation:
Washing windows in a manufacturing plant.
In ARIZ-65 the first limited contradiction
table is introduced. The operational portion still contains the analysis
of natural prototypes. The word "algorithm" has been introduced
as an indication of the long-term objective for the development of ARIZ. (G.
S. Altshuller. "Attention, an Algorithm of Invention." economics
newspaper, September 1, 1965).
If certain steps in the evolution of TRIZ
are identified as A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, etc. and currently TRIZ
is, for example, on step E, TRIZ allows us to see steps F, G, and H, for
example. In contrast, the opponents have so far accepted steps A, B, and
C. They are doubtful but silent about steps D and E, and are aggressively
arguing against F and G. Then TRIZ moves to step F, after which the
opponents accept step D, do not want to talk about E and F, and argue
against G, which (to others) is utterly obvious as the step that follows
F, and so on . . .
When we spoke of a "method of
inventing," rivals were insistent that we refer to nothing more than
a collection of useful recommendations, considering an algorithmic
approach absolutely out of the question. When TRIZ emerged, they accepted
the notion of an "algorithm" and transferred their resistance
and aversion to TRIZ, TRTS (Theory of Evolution of Technological Systems)
and OTSM (General Theory of Powerful Thinking) . . .
The first chapter of ARIZ-68 is divided
into two parts: Selection of the problem and clarification of the problem
statement. Special steps for handling psychological inertia are
introduced. The knowledge base is significantly extended and structured:
systematic analysis of patents has revealed 35 Innovation Principles and
the next version of the Contradiction Table. Paleo-bionics has been
introduced instead of natural prototypes. (G. S. Altshuller.
"Algorithm of Invention," 1st edition, Moscow Worker, 1969).
Example of practical implementation:
Until 1968, enhancements to ARIZ were based
on the analysis of patent information. Seminars were conducted from time
to time; I was the only individual teaching TRIZ. After 1968 the situation
was different. In anticipation of the mass utilization of TRIZ, the
preparation of teachers and modification of ARIZ for a general audience
During the next three years – from 1968
to 1971 – TRIZ seminars were organized in the following cities (all
within the former Soviet Union): Sverdlovsk, Kaunas, Moscow, Dzintary,
Dushanbe, Baku, and Gomel. A comprehensive course in TRIZ was completed in
the inventive schools for youth in Baku. Selected portions of ARIZ were
tested via surveys. Altogether, more than 5,000 records related to 150
problems were available and provided for the transition to the next
PROGRAM BECOMES ALGORITHMIC
With ARIZ-71 the program becomes more
rigorous. In the process of analysis, the operational zone and its
contradictory requirements have been identified (a prototype to the later
physical contradiction). A psychological operator for modifying
Dimensions, Time and Cost (DMC) has been introduced. The Contradiction
Table has been brought to completion and additional Innovation Principles
have been identified (up to 40 and, later, to 50). (G. S. Altshuller.
"Algorithm of Invention," 2nd edition, Moscow Worker, 1973).
Recommendations, notes and examples of use
have been added. The main operations are integrated into a system and the
links between steps are more rigid. A new section for evaluating ideas
that have been found has been introduced.
On one hand, ARIZ-75 is a logical
continuation of ARIZ-71: more precise recommendations for each of the
steps and stricter requirements for completing them. Continued analysis
has revealed the existence of physical contradictions.
On the other hand, ARIZ-75 is the first
modification built like TRIZ and is intended to work together with the
Patterns of Technological Evolution, substance-field transformations and
the compiled guides of effects. G. S. Altshuller. "Analysis of
Invention Case Studies." Collection of articles entitled "The
Theory and Practice of Inventive Problem Solving". Gorkiy, 1976.
ARIZ-77 is a logical completion of the line
that began with ARIZ-71: an algorithmic type of program has been
constructed. Again the rigorousness of the program is significantly
improved. The text includes multiple rules, notes and examples. A
prototype of the physical contradiction on a micro-level (Micro-PhC) is
introduced (Step 4.1). Analysis of the solution process has been included
as well. Bridging of the steps and the knowledge base (substance-field
transformations and effects) has begun. The Contradiction Table remains as
an auxiliary unit. (G. S. Altshuller. "Creativity as an Exact
Science." Soviet Radio, Moscow, 1979.).
The 1970s represent a stormy time in the
evolution of TRIZ. Dozens of TRIZ schools, courses, seminars, etc. are
teaching TRIZ, various mistakes and information helpful for fixing them
are quickly being revealed. All TRIZ subjects are in existence: the
algorithm, standard solutions, substance-field analysis, knowledge about
the Patterns of Technological Evolution and innovation guides. Methods of
teaching TRIZ improve.
On the cusp between the 1970s and 1980s,
new information necessary to provide for the next step from TRIZ to TRTS
(Theory of the Evolution of Technological Systems) started to accumulate
within TRIZ. After 1982 educational programs change, with the main
objective is preparation to teach TRTS and, further, to teach OTSM
(General Theory of Powerful Thinking), that is, to the theory of solving
problems in any area.
Beginning with ARIZ-82, a paradoxical
process of specialization/ generalization begins. In technology, ARIZ is
targeted specifically toward the solving of difficult non-typical problems
and the development of new standard solutions. At the same time, ARIZ
gains some universal features as it is applied toward the solving of
scientific problems, problems in the arts, etc.
(modifications A, B, C and D) and ARIZ-85A
Information on educational and practical
applications of the algorithm quickly accumulates. Other TRIZ tools and
applications improve as well, contributing toward the further enhancement
A new trend is in action: all
recommendations and notes made by a teacher must be incorporated into the
algorithm. All chapters of ARIZ (with the exception of the first) are
improved, especially the operators having to do with transitioning from a
physical contradiction to methods for eliminating it. A unit for analyzing
the problem model has been introduced. A definition of
"micro-physical contradictions" and the second (refined) Ideal
Ultimate Result (IUR-2) have been introduced as well. (For ARIZ-82 see
"Technology and Science," 1983, #2-4, 6. For ARIZ-85A see G. S.
Altshuller, B. Zlotin, V. Philatov. "Profession – the Search for
New Ideas." Kartya Moldovenyaska Publishing House, Kishinev, 1985).
Significant changes in structure are
introduced, including the second line of operations and the analysis of
substance-field resources. The former first chapter is no longer part of
the algorithm as it is not rigorous enough compared to the other chapters.
The orientation towards ideality strongly increases as a void (empty
space) is recognized as the most effective resource.
The link between the algorithm, the system
of standard solutions, and the patterns of technological evolution becomes
stronger. The second half of the algorithm – that devoted to the
development and utilization of ideas that have been found – is improved
as well. (G.S. Altshuller, "ARIZ-85B and ARIZ-85C,"
Dnepropetrovsk, 1984, 1985: pre-prints made for the seminars conducted at
continuous education courses held by the Ministry of Iron Metallurgy,
WILL THE NEXT STEPS IN ARIZ DEVELOPMENT BE?
The following main directions can be
- The tradition of increased rigorousness
in the evolution of ARIZ continues due to more thorough and increased
utilization of the Patterns of Technological Evolution.
- Significant strengthening of the bridge
between physical contradictions and the methods for resolving them.
- Extension of the knowledge base and
strengthening of the bridge between ARIZ and the standard solutions.
- Separation of the second portion of ARIZ
(the development and utilization of ideas) into a separate algorithm
- Development of a new first chapter (or a
separate algorithm) for revealing new problems to be solved.
- Strengthening of the philosophical
function of ARIZ as a tool for developing the skills for powerful
- Continual increase of universalization
(i.e., encompassing more types of problems other than technical).
Next in this series: Problems
of ARIZ Enhancement, by Boris Zlotin and Alla Zusman,
originally published in Journal of TRIZ 3, No. 1, 1992