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Problems of ARIZ Enhancement
by Boris Zlotin and Alla Zusman
August 1991
Kishinev, Moldova

Translated by Alla Zusman

CONTENTS:

History
Basic considerations for improvement
xxx Identifying the mini-problem
xxx Formulating the mini-problem
xxx Identifying conflict elements and conflict type
xxx Choosing the Main Manufacturing Process (MMP)
xxx Other issues
xxx New requirements for ARIZ
Continuing the story
ARIZ – SMVA 91 (E) version
xxx Structure
xxx Analysis of the innovation situation
xxx New features related to other chapters of ARIZ
Continuing . . .
What's Next?
Exhibit 1
xxx About the mini-problem
xxx About the psychological aspect of seeking minimal changes
Exhibit 2
xxx About Local Ideality
   

History

Back in 1985, after a set of experimental versions had been developed, a definitive version of ARIZ (ARIZ-85C) was introduced. With this, along with the guidance of experienced TRIZ teachers, the attendees of TRIZ seminars became quite successful in handling special training case studies (i.e., problems with well-defined statements). Still, students learning ARIZ had to overcome many difficulties, so further explanations, comments and illustrations were needed. Some of the steps in ARIZ required a significant number of exercises. The most serious problems took place, however, when students were trying to solve real life (and thus poorly formulated) problems, due to the absence of a "problem clarification and formulation" steps in ARIZ-85C. This section existed in previous modifications of ARIZ (ARIZ-71, 77), but was excluded in later versions due to the lack of improvement it had undergone compared to other, more rigorous and quickly-evolving sections of ARIZ.

TRIZ educators from various schools were looking for the ways to overcome the difficulties mentioned above. Some educators accumulated fairly extensive lists of recommendations related to further ARIZ enhancements, including attempts to develop new versions of ARIZ. By 1989, several TRIZ individuals and groups presented and tested their own versions, for example, V. Korolev (Belaya Tserkov), Y. Andrievskiy (Petrozavodsk), a group from Novosibirsk, and others. This could be considered a dangerous situation, because it could set the stage for students getting low-quality educational materials and/or cause TRIZ schools to lose a common educational platform.

Two ‘paths’ toward the enhancement of ARIZ could be considered. One was arranged by Henry Altshuller, the sole author of all versions of ARIZ – versions which had been successfully used over several decades. All recommendations and suggestions for improvements to ARIZ were sent to Altshuller, who would decide to incorporate them, if necessary, into the next version of ARIZ recommended for use in TRIZ schools. This time, however, Altshuller ignored the requests of TRIZ educators for a new version. He was convinced that ARIZ-85C was good enough. He also explained that he preferred, for the present time, to direct his efforts in the area of the Theory of Development of a Strong Creative Personality (TRTL) rather than involving himself with ARIZ.

Another of these ‘paths’ included organizing a group of TRIZ developers to collect all the recommendations, develop the next version of ARIZ, and submit it to Altshuller and other TRIZ specialists for discussion and approval. This approach presented a problem as well: ARIZ was Altshuller’s intellectual property and it was therefore impossible (or rather, unethical) to work with it. This problem was eventually eliminated, however. During the first meeting of the Board of the TRIZ Association in October 1989, Altshuller granted formal permission for work to be done on ARIZ.

During the 1989 TRIZ Conference in Petrozavosk, a roundtable discussion was devoted to the enhancement of ARIZ. The following TRIZ specialists participated, under the leadership of S. Litvin: K. Sklobovsky (Obninsk), M. Sharapov (Magnitogorsk), M. Bdulenko (Krasnogorsk), S. Sychev (Rostov-on-Don), V. Kaner, A. Pinyaev, E. Zlotin, V. Kryachko, V. Petrov, V .Dubrov, A. Lubomorskiy, (all- St. Petersburg); G. Frenklakh (Gomel), V. Ladoshkin, A. Torgashev (Novosibirsk); E. Martinova, S. Pernitskiy (Zukovskiy), G. Pigorov, Y. Stupniker (Dnepropetrovsk); N. Khomenko (Minsk); I. Goihman (Mitishci); A. Zusman, B. Zlotin, Z. Royzen (Kishinev); V. Korolev (Belaya Tserkov), Y. Andrievskiy (Petrozavodsk), E. Kagan (Volgograd), and others. Litvin offered the most comprehensive list of suggestions for improvement; many suggestions were presented by E. Zlotin, V. Petrov, and TRIZ educators from Kishinev and other schools.

Immediately following the conference, Litvin, Zusman, B. Zlotin, E. Zlotin and Petrov met in St. Petersburg to discuss the results of the roundtable discussion. The result was a decision to begin to work jointly on the new version of ARIZ, with the following objectives in mind:

  1. Increase reliability and provide a higher probability of success using ARIZ to solve real-life problems.
  2. Improve teaching methods to provide high-quality education within a reasonable time, taking into consideration an increasing demand.
  3. Implement the new developments and suggestions made over the last five years.
  4. Prepare ARIZ for effective computerization.

It was noted that the above objectives could be achieved by improving the rigorousness of ARIZ and incorporating additional steps and rules (micro-algorithms).

Basic considerations for improvement

During the five years that ARIZ-85C had been taught, TRIZ educators – including those from Kishinev – had gained sufficient experience in its use. The most typical difficulties and mistakes made by students had been documented, and some of them are described below.

Identifying the ‘mini-problem’

Singling out the so-called mini-problem from the innovation situation does not usually represent an obstacle when dealing with training case studies which have well-defined conditions with no more than two hierarchical system levels. However, when more than two levels exist (which is the case in practical situations) it is much more difficult. The recommendation placed in Note 1 to Step 1.1 (ARIZ-85C), and which reads as follows: "Everything remains the same or becomes simplified, while a desired action or feature is provided (or an undesired action or feature is eliminated)" sounds too vague. It is not clear which undesired effect to choose – in practical situations there are usually several of them with complex interconnections – or which desired improvement to focus on (see Exhibit 1 for details).

Moreover, practical experience in solving problems stated by an individual with no TRIZ education had shown that the stated problem statement was incorrect nearly all the time, since it had been stated "casually." This contributed toward making the solution process extremely difficult. To transition from such a problem statement to a correctly defined mini-problem in one shot was a challenge even to experience TRIZ specialists.

Formulating the mini-problem

Nearly every novice encounters the situation where the problem statement does not clearly indicate a technical contradiction. Special recommendations (Note 3 to Step 1.1) are introduced to help formulate an artificial contradiction, however, additional explanations from the trainer are required. Moreover, although an artificial contradiction allows processing of the problem in ARIZ to formally begin, it does not provide an opportunity to apply typical recommendations for eliminating technical contradictions, because it does not reflect the real situation.

Another difficulty is caused by the absence of a strict form for the TC by way of a logical clause:

IF [condition] THEN [some positive statement], BUT ALSO [some negative statement].

Keeping in mind that students in our traditional schools (editor’s note: non-TRIZ schools) had never heard of such a subject as Logic, they often formulate the technical contradiction following the pattern: "My wife is not pretty, but she is a poor wife." Confusion is even greater because the technical contradiction may be expressed in terms of parameters (e.g., "While productivity increases, quality deteriorates") or in terms of actions or functions as well (such as "The solution, when heated, degrades." Actually, both types of technical contradiction are valuable (the parameter for the technical contradiction helps the user to enter the Contradiction Table, while the functional technical contradiction helps unveil the interactions and processes taking place in the system). A lack of accuracy in the definitions, however, negatively impacts the rigorousness of ARIZ.

Identifying conflict elements and conflict type

The main problem here is with the selection of a tool and article when there are more than two elements mentioned in the problem description. Also, the situation does not become any easier when the same elements play opposite roles of a tool or article related to a positive action versus a negative one (e.g., a mill (tool) machines (positive action) a metal part (article) but the metal part (tool) wears (negative action) the mill (article)).. Typical mistakes made in Step 1.3 are to indicate properties or parameters as conflict elements instead of actual parts; forgetting to indicate two conditions of the tool. The reason for this is the same as that mentioned above – that is, the absence of a procedure for separating the mini-problem from the innovation situation. Too many elements result from several problems each having their own elements simultaneously analyzed. Situations such as these have a special name in TRIZ – putanka (entangled) – and there was a recommendation to separate problems in this situation, although there was no explanation as to how to accomplish this. ARIZ-85C provides that multi-link conflicts be built and that they be convoluted. All in all, the procedure is too vague.

Choosing the Main Manufacturing Process (MMP)

Step 1.4 recommends choosing as the MMP one, which provides the best performance for the main useful function of the system. However, Note 13 points on an exception related to problems of measurement and/or control. In the latter situation, it is recommended to choose the function of the system as a whole rather than the function of its measurement sub-system. At the same time, a similar situation may occur when there is a protecting sub-system. For example, in the problem with the lightning rod and antenna it is recommended to choose the reception function of the antenna as an MMP rather than the function of protecting the antenna from lightning. To summarize the situation, it is possible to offer a more general recommendation indicating that in both cases we are dealing with auxiliary functions. In general, auxiliary functions include correcting ones, that is, actions to correct some negative consequences in the system’s functionality such as chiseling out the remaining slag from a ladle. But identifying whether a function is main or auxiliary is a relative matter and depends entirely on the number of hierarchical system levels taken into consideration, as well as the choice of separating a problem to be solved from the innovation situation. If this level has not been identified, mistakes are possible.

A question: why do we need to choose the MMP, and thus a technical contradiction, at all? Of course, when we formulate two technical contradictions (let’s call them TC1 and TC2) we get two completely different problems. ARIZ recommends that the most promising one be selected, but how do we know which is the most promising? A. Lubomirskiy once indicated that, as a rule, one TC is connected with an existing system and selecting this one means working in the direction of improving the system, while selecting the opposite TC usually means focusing on searching for an alternative way of getting the desired result (i.e., developing a new system). Because it is difficult to estimate ahead of time which direction might result in a better solution, it makes sense to abandon the selection altogether, especially since there is a precedent in ARIZ-85C for a parallel analysis of resources (Step 3.2). Taking the above into consideration, we recommend working with both technical contradictions in parallel up until Step 3.3 (formulation of the Physical Contradiction) when it is no longer important which conflict has been chosen.

In our opinion, the absence of the problem statement formulation chapter was the reason new steps should be introduced, forcing the user to work with main functions such as choosing the conflict, convolution of multi-link conflicts, and several others.

Other issues

A large number of mistakes are associated with the lack of micro-algorithms for helping to formulate steps. However, micro-algorithms cause a ‘swelling’ of the tool, which is already very complex, overloaded with rules, notes, examples, etc. It is necessary to restructure ARIZ to allow its enhancement to remain transparent and to provide for the main line of analysis being easily understood.

New requirements for ARIZ

Besides the issue of problem statement formulation, another impeding factor in the existing ARIZ is the focus on a single solution that is close to the Ideal Ultimate Result. In real life, however, it is practical to have options. Such an option would perhaps be to choose solutions which are less ideal but which are, for some reason (technical, organizational, legal, personal, etc.), easier to implement – solutions which, in other words, have a higher local ideality (see Exhibit 2).

The focus on obtaining an ‘array’ of solutions dictates changing the approach to ARIZ regarding the integration of the analytical and solution-generating steps. It has always been perceived that the line of analysis should not be interrupted. This is why solution-generating tools such as the Principles or the Standard Solutions are always addressed after completing a certain portion of the analysis. At the same time, it is known that each step brings certain changes to our understanding of the problem, and toward its reformulation. In addition, if one takes into consideration that the main way to solve a problem is by using some type of analogy, each step may change the problem such that it becomes similar to one available in the knowledge base – that is, the solution may be obtained at any step. Moreover, we know from experience that attempts to find a solution at each step provide a super-effect, i.e., they lead to a much better understanding of the problem. Keeping in mind the need to obtain an array of solutions, it is worthwhile to apply solution-generating tools after each appropriate step. Again, we have an example of this approach in existing ARIZ-85C, when the Standard Solutions are used in three places. All we need is to expand this practice. ARIZ-85C does not make use of the Innovation Principles for eliminating technical contradictions, in spite of the fact that we formulate technical contradictions and therefore the possibility exists for applying the Principles. At one point in time, the Principles were removed from ARIZ in anticipation that the Standard Solutions would be much more effective. However, practical experience has proven that these two tools were complementary.

In 1985, V. Kryachko (St. Petersburg) noted that when we formulate two technical contradictions (Step 1.1), we automatically obtain all the components necessary to formulate the initial physical contradictions for the tool’s contradictory states or other conditions (many lightning rods versus a few; a high-speed gas stream versus a low-speed gas stream, etc.). This means that an opportunity exists for applying the Separation Principles right away. The solutions that can be obtained at this stage are not necessarily the same as those obtained in Step 5.3 – in Step 3.3 the physical contradiction is formulated for a selected resource which usually differs from the tool’s conditions. As a result, formulation and resolving of the initial physical contradiction may contribute toward obtaining multiple solutions.

Special requirements apply to ARIZ as a ‘base’ for computerization. First, micro-algorithms are necessary, as steps must be accurate and detailed enough so that the next step can be logically drawn from the previous one in only one way. In the case when a user must add specific information to the next step, this information should be available in the form of various menus, i.e., lists of typical drawbacks (physical or others), macro- and/or micro- conditions, etc. Typical formulations (templates) are also necessary to allow the user to introduce specific information related to the problem under consideration according to an organized scheme. Further, it is necessary to provide users, which don’t have a comprehensive TRIZ education with the opportunity to begin working with ARIZ using his/her "natural" engineering language. These users should be able to transition to typical problem statements from various original problem statements (that is, to ‘pull’ typical statements in the same way one pulls the whole chain by picking just one link).

In summary, the following changes should be introduced into ARIZ:

  1. Introduce sections related to the problem formulation process, including one which will facilitate an attempt to solve the problem as it is stated in the original problem statement, and then another, which will help restore the complete innovation situation and provide for the selection of a new (and more promising) problem statement.

  2. Provide the possibility for applying the solution-generating tools as much as possible during the work with ARIZ.

  3. Develop various menus with typical problem statements.

  4. Make ARIZ convenient to use – i.e., structured, with separation between micro-algorithms, examples, and definitions in separate volumes.

Continuing the story

The principles and ideas mentioned above formed the basis for development of the first experimental version of ARIZ-KE-89/90, which was tested during TRIZ seminars conducted by the company Progress (five groups of courses, each consisting of 200 hours). The second experimental version implemented the results obtained from testing the previous one and additional materials provided by Litvin. Recommendations from V. Dubrov and A. Pinyaev were taken into consideration (in part) as well. The Kishinev TRIZ school presented the new version of ARIZ at the meeting organized by the NILIM theoretical department (St. Petersburg, department head: S. Litvin) in January, 1991. TRIZ specialists V. Korolev, A. Torgashev, A. Kuryanov, A. Lubomirskiy, A. Pinyaev, V. Gerasimov, V. Dubrov, and A. Zusman participated as well. As subjects for discussion, other materials were presented, as follows:

  • ARIZ – 85C NE (Novosibirsk)
  • experimental ARIZ version developed by V. Korolev
  • paper "Functional approach to analysis of an innovation situation" by A. Pinyaev
  • paper " Revealing main and auxiliary resources and developing a system of physical contradictions for ARIZ" by V. Dubrov
  • recommendations developed by S. Litvin (for ARIZ-91)

ARIZ – SMVA 91 (E) version

Structure

The structure of ARIZ-KE-89/90 was similar to that of ARIZ -85C. We succeeded in maintaining the same number of sections, although a section for analyzing the innovation situation was added. However, implementation of recommendations resulting from testing, as well as those made by S. Litvin, have blown apart the old structure. Segmentation of steps often required that some of them be converted into separate chapters to avoid multi-level numeration, which could hinder understanding of the ARIZ process. Most importantly, however, was that it had become obvious that, with such level of detail, ARIZ was more suitable for execution by computer rather than manually. In other words, what was supposed to become ARIZ-91 was converted into a platform for a "machine" version. Taking into consideration that in spite of introducing new chapters, the main ideas and procedures of ARIZ-85C remained, it became a platform for the machine version of ARIZ-85C. For this reason, it was called ARIZ-SMV 91 (E) which meant Scenario (S) of Machine (M) Version (V) based on ARIZ-85C, Experimental (E) version.

It is clear that conversion to a software scenario will take a substantial length of time. Furthermore, even when it is complete, not everyone will have a computer. However, we would be remiss to ignore the possibility of significantly enhancing ARIZ at the present time. This is why we have decided to consider adapting the scenario for manual use. To achieve this, the complexity of the algorithm had to be substantially reduced. From the main text, definitions, rules, notes and micro-algorithms repeatedly used have been removed. The resulting structure now represents ARIZ-SMVA 91 (E), where "A" stood for Adaptation and included the following volumes:

  1. Introduction and glossary
  2. Main steps
  3. Appendices
  4. Case studies

The main steps (Volume 2) were divided into 18 chapters as follows:

  1. Becoming familiar with the problem and its description in the original statement
  2. Systematizing information about the system in which the problem exists
  3. Restoring the innovation situation and selecting a problem for solving
  4. Formulation of the mini-problem
  5. Formulation and resolution of the initial physical contradiction
  6. Conflict enforcement
  7. Formulation of the problem model
  8. Applying Substance-Field transformations and Standard Solutions
  9. Analysis of the operational zone
  10. Formulation of the Ideal Ultimate Result (IUR-1) and preliminary analysis of the ways for its realization
  11. Formulation of physical contradictions
  12. Resolution of physical contradictions
  13. Formulation of the Ideal Ultimate Result IUR-2
  14. Solving new physical problems in the IUR-2 statement
  15. Changing and/or replacement of the problem
  16. Comparative analysis of ideas obtained and increasing their ideality
  17. Revealing super-effects (new opportunities resulting from new ideas)
  18. Analysis of the solution process

Volume 3 included the following appendices:

  1. List of typical drawbacks
  2. List of typical prohibitions for changing the system
  3. List of typical problem statements
  4. Procedure for applying the Innovation Principles
  5. Procedure for applying the Standard Solutions
  6. Information about competing (alternative) systems
  7. Rules for building a functional diagram of useful and harmful functions
  8. Recommendations for selecting a problem for solving
  9. Rules for building key nodes
  10. Rules for formulating functions
  11. Rules for building the conflict diagram
  12. Rules for formulating physical contradictions
  13. Rules for resolving physical contradictions
  14. Rules for conflict enforcement
  15. Rules for identifying the operational zone and operational time
  16. General rules for modeling using Smart Little People
  17. Rules for mobilization of resources
  18. Rules for taking a "step back" from the IUR
  19. Rules for creating a preliminary "portrait" of the x-resource
  20. Recommendations for selecting the main resource
  21. Rules for creating a final "portrait" of a required physical effect

Analysis of the innovation situation

The first chapters of ARIZ-SMVA deal with analyzing an innovation situation – formulating the problem statement. Chapter 1 helps address the problem in its original statement. A problem randomly picked up in the occasional problem statement is converted into a typical problem statement, thus allowing the following main TRIZ tools to be applied: the Contradiction Table and the Standard Solutions. To achieve this, the user chooses an appropriate item from a list of typical drawbacks. Then, depending on the situation (i.e., if known ways to eliminate a drawback are not available or they cannot be utilized for some reason), ARIZ helps in choosing the typical problem statement as well as an appropriate tool to deal with it (Principles, the specific group of Standard Solutions, Value Engineering or Scientific Problem solving methodology, or Anticipatory Failure Determination). Besides this, the user documents limitations with the help of the list of typical limitations. Also documented are the expected economical, technical and other effects (some of these steps existed in the version of 1977). In some cases, promising ideas can be generated at that time, however, continued use of the tool is encouraged.

Chapter 2 includes a procedure for becoming acquainted with the system in which the problem emerged, in detail: the main elements, their structure and functioning. The purpose here is to prepare the background for Chapter 3 (restoration of the innovation situation). However, after assessing additional information, a second attempt to solve the problem as it appears in the original problem statement may be performed. Along with the recommendation of S. Litvin, information about alternative systems to the one under consideration is included. Whatever the results obtained at this stage, the analysis should be continued.

The main purpose of Chapter 3 is to build cause-and-effect chains of useful and harmful functions and effects, and a combined graphical ‘tree’ based on these chains. The cause-and-effect relationships can also be represented in a matrix format (A. Pinyaev’s recommendation), however, even a rather simple innovation situation may have multiple branches and in our opinion the tree format provides much more visibility than the matrix. The purpose of building a graphical tree is to reveal key nodes – places where the same factor or function provides useful results and at the same time is the reason for the harmful one. It is quite obvious that it is better to eliminate a cause rather than its consequences – that is, to solve a key problem. However, there may be many key problems in the situation.

Building chains of useful effects is similar to developing FAST diagrams ("Reference Book on Value Engineering" by M. G. Karpunin and B. I. Maidanchik, Moscow, Finances and Statistics, 1988). In fact, for each known function, two specific questions are applied:

  1. What is the purpose of performing this function?
  2. What is necessary to perform this function?

Answering the first question allows the chain to be continued to the right while the second question helps continue the chain to the left. For harmful chains, two different questions require answers:

  1. What is the result of this harmful factor (action)?
  2. What is the cause of this harmful factor (action)?

Following these questions, two separate chains (useful and harmful) can be built. To reveal key nodes, it is necessary to combine them, that is, to find the places they connect. Actually, they connect in the following situations:

  • A harmful effect is caused by a useful function
  • A useful function is introduced to correct an existing harmful effect

As a result, for each link from a useful or a harmful chain two additional questions should be asked. For a link from a useful chain:

  1. Does this useful function cause a harmful function?
  2. Is this useful function introduced to correct a harmful factor?

Accordingly, for a link from a harmful chain:

  1. Is this harmful factor caused by a useful function?
  2. Is any useful function introduced to correct this harmful factor?

Answers to these questions help connect useful and harmful chains, and add new chains that were not obvious from the beginning.

Once the tree is built, for every link a typical problem statement may be formulated as follows:

  • Correcting problem: Eliminate a harmful factor (action)
  • Alternative problem: Find an alternative way to realize a useful function
  • Refusing problem: Find a way to forgo the useful function
  • Key correcting problem: Eliminate a harmful effect without giving up a connected useful function (this problem statement can be used as a basis for formulating the mini-problem)
  • Key alternative problem: Find an alternative way to perform a useful function so the harmful factor disappears
  • Key refusing problem: Find a way to forgo the useful function together with a connected harmful factor.

Once all adequate problem statements have been formulated they are placed in hierarchical order, taking into consideration how drastic are the resulting possible changes to the system. Having done this, the user can prioritize the list based on recommended criteria and the specifics associated with that user.

If for any reason the first problem statement chosen is not a "key correcting" problem, it is recommended that the user return to Chapter 1, select an appropriate typical problem statement, and apply the recommended tools. If a key correcting problem is selected, a transition to the next chapter can be made.

New features related to other chapters of ARIZ

Chapter 4 is devoted to the formulation of the mini-problem. The difficulties mentioned above are overcome because all necessary elements are drawn from fairly rigorous transformations of the key node, representing the key problem. These transformations are made with the help of pre-formulated precise frames (templates) for useful and harmful functions (actions), technical contradictions, and the mini-problem as a whole. For example, the typical frame for a function looks like this: "A tool [indicate the tool] impacts [indicate how] an article [indicate the article]." It forces the user to identify a tool and article from the very beginning, and to do so separately for a useful and a harmful function. These elements may be (partially or completely) the same for both situations – otherwise there would be no conflict. An unambiguous meaning of the choice of conflict elements is determined by the prior choice of the key node. A special operator to eliminate special terminology (Litvin’s suggestion) and micro-algorithms for building graphical conflict diagrams have been introduced.

Because we do not select a preferable conflict to continue analysis, its enforcement (Chapter 6), a problem model (Chapter 7), and the application of Substance-Field Transformations and Standard Solutions (Chapter 8) are made for both conflicts. Instead of "x-element" we use the term "x-resource," which enforces the focus on IUR.

A distinguishing feature is that identification of the operational zone and/or the operational time is now separate for useful and harmful functions. As a result, one can estimate right away the possibility of separating the conflict in space or in time. Resources unveiled during study of the operational zone are placed in a special table. Besides substance- field resources, processes, substance flows, energy and information are identified and separated into useful and harmful resources.

In ARIZ-SMVA 91 (E), a set of physical contradictions is formulated. First, the initial physical contradiction mentioned above is formulated (Chapter 5, immediately after technical contradictions have been identified). Then, physical contradictions for process, macro- and micro- conditions, and flow have been identified (Chapter 11). To facilitate formulation, special lists of typical macro- and micro- conditions, flows and processes are offered. The analysis of physical contradictions begins from formulating an auxiliary one for a parameter. (G.S. Altshuller and others. Search for new ideas: from insight to methodology. Kishinev, Kartya Moldovenyaska, 1989, p. 36). A suggestion made by V. Dubrov related to the same subject was taken into consideration as well.

IUR-1 (Chapter 10) is formulated for both technical contradictions. In this chapter, the following steps must be made:

  • An attempt to solve the problem in the IUR statement using the "step back from the IUR" approach
  • Developing a "portrait" of an "x-resource" (Litvin’s suggestion) and a search for a suitable resource from them ones unveiled in Chapter 9 and with the help of the Innovation Effects Guide
  • An attempt to consider the possibility of achieving a compromise (Z. Royzen’s suggestion)
  • Identification of the "main resource" – a candidate for solution to be developed from the Innovation Effects Guide

IUR-2 is formulated for each physical contradiction (Litvin’s suggestion). As a result, a block of new physical problems is developed which it is recommended be solved with the use of the Standard Solutions and/or the Innovation Effects Guide (Chapter 14).

Chapters 15 through 18 do not differ considerably from the corresponding chapters of ARIZ-85C. (They will be elaborated ahead.)

Continuing . . .

As was mentioned above, the following three complete versions of ARIZ were presented at the meeting held in St. Petersburg, together with the list of suggestions from S. Litvin:

  • Version prepared by V. Korolev
  • Novosibirsk version
  • ARIZ – SMVA- 91 (E) (Kishinev)

The main discussions took place regarding the basic concept for the new version of ARIZ, which could be submitted to the Board of the TRIZ Association for approval and recommendation for use in all TRIZ schools. Ms. Zusman made a suggestion to use the Kishinev version because ARIZ SMVA 91 (E):

  1. Is the only one that contains sections for the analysis of the innovation situation and problem formulation
  2. Incorporated the most complete set of recommendations from other TRIZ schools
  3. Has been tested in TRIZ seminars with satisfactory results: students were learning it with minimal help from the trainers and in less time (36 hours instead of 50).

Other meeting participants did not accept this suggestion. Mostly, they didn’t like the fact that the ARIZ structure had changed considerably. Explanations that structural changes were inevitable because numerous suggestions had been implemented did not help. The following decision was made: to recommend that Mr. Litvin make an attempt to develop another version which would incorporate useful suggestions within the existing structure – that is, that would again be without the formulation sections. The Kishinev school was allowed to continue working in the direction chosen.

We "followed" this recommendation. ARIZ-SMVA 91(E) did a good job for another four groups with good results, especially in solving practical problems. The number of case studies doubled, detailed teaching plans were developed. New additions have been made as well. Lastly, a new system of Standard Solutions adapted for use with the new version of ARIZ is in development.

What’s next?

We are continuing our work on enhancing the analytical and solution-generating components of ARIZ in the following directions:

  1. Consider the Administrative Contradiction introduced earlier by Mr. Altshuller and not used in ARIZ. An Administrative Contradiction is defined as a situation where performing an action is required but impossible due to some limitation or prohibition (such as a violation of natural laws, economic or social conditions, etc.). Depending upon the nature of the limitation and the particular details, appropriate principles similar to the Separation Principles can be applied.
  2. A new approach to resolving physical contradictions. Dealing with a set of physical contradictions has proven that the general Separation Principles can be specialized because some work better than others do with physical contradictions for flows, initial physical contradictions, etc. New tables for resolving different physical contradictions are in development.
  3. Development of a new system of Standard Solutions, partially incorporating the Innovation Principles and Patterns of Evolution. In particular, working with the modeling processes for dynamic substance-field structures in accordance with the Patterns. Another feature is the extension of resource nomenclature focusing on products resulting from the processes that take place in a technological system.
  4. Development of the closing chapters of ARIZ, in particular, procedures for enhancing the obtained solution concepts (this is of increasing importance given our integration into the worldwide economic system), which will possibly be separated in to a special algorithm. Introduction of a new chapter that allows one to reveal and prevent potential implementation problems ahead of time (based on subversion analysis).
  5. Development of a special educational section with typical recommendations for teachers, Q&A, etc.
  6. Bringing ARIZ into a close relationship with applications other than those for problem solving, such as TRIZ forecasting, AFD and TRIZ Value Engineering

We asked our students not to disclose the version ARIZ-KE-89/90 they received (including the one copy deposited in the Chelyabinsk Scientific Library), as it was an experimental intermediate version with certain deficiencies. The SMVA version is complete (though still experimental) and, in general, is ready to be used for self-learning. Expansion of the testing base will also be helpful. For those reasons, we distributed 15 copies of this version between leading TRIZ schools and specialists during the Second TRIZ Association Conference in Petrozavodsk. Since August, 1991 the SOTEC from Ekaterinburg has been distributing ARIZ-SMVA 91 (E). We appreciate any response, critique and recommendations.

Exhibit 1

About the mini-problem. It is well known that the parts of technological systems are firmly linked and that a failure in one part (even a part of minimal importance) can cause the whole system to fail. At the same time, this provides the opportunity to correct the situation by changing other parts of the system rather than fixing the part that is causing the problem. As a result, many problem statements can be formulated for a given innovation situation – and for this reason selection of the mini-problem is necessary. The selection criterion is formulated in Note 1 of Step 1.1 (ARIZ-85C): "Everything remains the same or becomes simplified, while the required action or property emerges or the undesired action or property disappears." The main reasons for addressing the mini-problem are the following:

  1. There is usually only one mini-problem so it easier to "separate" it from the innovation situation
  2. Formulating a mini-problem means focusing on achieving the desired results with minimal changes – that is, achieving higher ideality.
  3. Minimal changes to the system generally make the process of implementing the solution easier.

The main difficulty is that this formula can produce more than one mini-problem. In his notes to ARIZ-77, Altshuller wrote: "The mini-problem can be obtained from an innovation situation following the principle: the existing situation minus the drawback or plus a desired advantage (new quality)." (H. Altshuller. "Creativity as an Exact Science." Soviet Radio, Moscow, 1979, p.44). However, even in this format there may be several problem statements because it is not clear at which level of the system hierarchy we should "freeze" changes. For example, in the situation with transporting slag, the following problem statements can exist:

  • The problem of the high cost of removing the hardened slag from the ladle; in this case we should improve the slag removal system and leave slag transport system as it is
  • The problem of reducing waste while keeping the existing system of slag removal
  • The problem of reducing wasted time (it is necessary to wait to remove the slag while the hot ladle is cooling), etc.

In ARIZ-82 an extended formula for the mini-problem has been introduced with the added clause "or simplifies." This allows for the selection of a mini-problem at any level of the system hierarchy. So then, which level in particular? Obviously, the level at which the required changes are minimal. But is it possible to identify this level at the onset?

It is also well known that a high level of ideality can be achieved by utilization of the resources available in the system for resolving contradictions. Obviously, each level has its own resources and contains unique possibilities for using them (see Exhibit 2 for more on this). Is it possible to evaluate the resources before the problem statement is selected? In general, the answer is yes, however, it means substituting analysis with the random exploration of resources, and this is not that far from the usual method of trial-and-error.

Given the above, we conclude that the criteria imbedded in the formula of a mini-problem do not allow only one to be unambiguously defined. Moreover, it can be shown that the following two criteria: "Everything remains the same" and "everything becomes simplified" can lead one in opposite directions. For example, imagine that we have a minimal standard innovation situation with two system levels: a system with a drawback D1 where an attempt to remove this drawback causes another drawback, D2. If we want to "keep everything as it is" we must solve the problem of removing D2. If, however, we select "becomes simplified" we must to address the drawback D1, because if we find a satisfactory solution for this problem statement we do not need an existing means for eliminating the drawback D1 and we can expect some simplification as a result of that.

About the psychological aspect of seeking minimal changes to the system. It is true that this function of formulating the mini-problem is usually performed successfully. However, one may fail to recognize that the system did in fact change, and that these changes could affect any system level in a positive and/or negative way. ARIZ-85C includes a procedure for revealing the necessary changes that must be made for implementing the solution and looking for new solution applications. This, however, is not enough. V. Gerasimov believes that the situation must be made even "stronger" such that the statement "Everything has changed" can be made after the solution is obtained. Today we have ways to reveal both positive changes (super-effect) (Gerasimov and Litvin. Basics of the method of conducting Value Engineering. Manuscript, 1991), and negative (subversion analysis) (Zlotin and Zusman. Searching for new ideas in science. Collected articles "Solving Scientific Problems." Kishinev, "Progress," Kartya Moldovenyaska, 1991).

All of the above provide for the conclusion to be made that, so far, there is no objective criteria for identifying the mini-problem from an innovation situation. This does not mean, however, that any preliminary (or at least probabilistic) estimation of the most promising directions is impossible. Some criteria may be elaborated, but they are fairly subjective (see ARIZ-SMVA 91(E), Chapter 3, Exhibit 8).

Exhibit 2

About Local Ideality. Besides general ideality, which reflects the level evolution, there is local ideality determined by the specific resources of a given system and situation. For this reason, a solution with high general ideality may not be all that ideal from the local point of view. Typical illustration: a problem concerning a circuit breaker (Zlotin and Zusman. "Come to a firing range," Part 2. Collected articles "How to Become a Heretic," Technology – Youth – Creativity: Petrozavodsk, Kareliya, 1991).

Reviewing the situation, we note that the problem solved by Zlotin’s student B. Lyarskiy (Electrosila, St. Petersburg) related to the following situation: It was necessary to protect a thermal bi-metallic plate from rupturing. The rupture resulted from the large amount of heat released due to an extremely high level of electrical current. The destruction mechanism was as follows: Each layer of the bi-metallic plate had its own coefficient of thermal expansion. Because of the strong heat, the difference between the actual expansion of each layer was so high that it caused the plate to rupture. The obtained solution recommended the use of an electro-dynamic breaker (another mechanism of the system under consideration) for shunting the circuit. Implementing this solution required very small changes to the system – that is, making several holes in the existing design.

Later, Altshuller was working with this problem in front of TRIZ educators during the First TRIZ Conference in Petrozavodsk in 1980. Two additional solutions were obtained:

  1. make one layer of the bi-metallic plate from "shape memory" material to compensate for the excessive expansion of the other layer under extreme current
  2. bend the plate ahead of time in the direction opposite the one that results from overheating. This will double the temperature range of safe operation of the plate.

Let us compare the solutions described above. It is obvious that the solution, which uses the shape memory effect, possesses the highest ideality, since it doesn’t require any changes to the design. The solution with preventive bending has lower ideality while the first solution (shunting) has the lowest ideality. However, if we reconsider ideality from the local point of view it becomes clear that the shape memory solution is practically useless – the plant cannot purchase this material. Moreover, this plate is a part provided by a supplier, who will not like any changes. At the same time, making a couple of holes in the existing design to implement the first solution is not a problem at all. Given the above, this solution has the highest local ideality.

The concept of local ideality leads to a requirement that ARIZ must provide an array of solutions rather than only one solution. Once a set of solutions is obtained, the one with the highest local ideality can be selected. It might also be necessary to return the 40 Innovation Principles back to ARIZ. Although the Principles usually produce solutions on level 2 (for Standard Solutions, level 3), it can very well be that the level 2 solutions have higher ideality, which means that the Standard Solutions cannot replace the Principles.

Delivered August 30, 1991

 


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