Extract from ARIZ 71 – The Algorithm of Problem Solving

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This is an extract from on ARIZ 71, that is described in the book, Innovation Algorithm by Genrich Altshuller. ARIZ can be used to solve problems. 

Some tips that I have learnt from experts in the field are:

  1. ARIZ is very methodical and systematic. Try to persist till you get the right solution
  2. ARIZ can sometimes be painstakingly long, so if you are unable to solve your problem through other means, by all means, try those. When all else fails, use ARIZ
  3. Like with any other new technique, ARIZ requires 2 things: Practice and a mentor
    1. Practice: 80 hours in classroom like atmosphere with peers is highly recommended
    2. You can use the powerpoint version of ARIZ to help you with solving the problem that you have undertaken. However, a regular flipchart (A0 or A1) is highly recommended.
  4. Lastly, you will go through all the emotions involved in dealing with an unsolved problem – some of it good, some of it not so good! Persist with the problem, if you care to solve it… 🙂

I’ll try and anticipate one question: Why ARIZ71 and not 85 or 87? First of all, ARIZ71 was written by Genrich Altshuller in 1971, hence the number 71. Second of all, ARIZ71, in my humble opinion, is worded in simpler terms than the subsequent ARIZ versions. Besides, I hear from experts that the spirit of TRIZ and ARIZ is essentially unchanged, barring a few details, in all the versions of ARIZ.


Part 1: Choosing the Problem

Step 1-1: Determine the final goal of a solution

  1. What is the technical goal (what characteristic of the object must be changed)?
  2. What characteristic of the object obviously cannot be changed in the process of solving a problem?
  3. What is the economic goal of the solution? (Which expense will be reduced if the problem is solved?)
  4. What is the roughly acceptable expense?
  5. What is the main technical / economic characteristic that must be improved?


Step 1-2: Bypass approach

Investigate a “bypass approach”. Imagine that the problem, in principle, cannot be solved. What other, more general problem, can be solved to reach the required final result?

  1. Proceed to the super-system (for the given system, from which the problem originated) and reformulate the original problem at the level of the supersystem.
  2. Proceed to the sub-systems (the given system contains a set of subsystems) and reformulate the original problem at the level of the subsystems (e.g. substances).
  3. Reformulate the original problem for three levels (super-system, system, sub-system) by replacing the required action (or feature) with an opposite action (or feature).

Step 1-3:

Determine which problem, the original or the bypass, makes the most sense to solve. Choose which to pursue: take into account the objective factors (what are the system reserves of evolution); take into account the subjective factors (which problem it is supposed to solve – mini-problem or maxi-problem).

Step 1-4:

__Determine the required quantitative characteristics.

Step 1-5.

Increase the required quantitative characteristics by considering the time for implementing the invention.

Step 1-6.

Define the requirements of the specific conditions in which the invention is going to function.

  1. Consider the specific conditions for manufacturing the product: in particular, the acceptable degree of complexity.
  2. Consider the scale of future applications.

[NOTE: This step is given in ARIZ 85a, but not in ARIZ 71

Step 1-7

Examine if it is possible to solve the problem by direct application of the Inventive Standards. If the problem has been solved, go to 5.1. If the problem is still unsolved, go to Step 2-1.


Part 2: Defining the Problem more precisely

Step 2-1

Define the problem more precisely using patent information.

  1. How are problems close to the given one solved in other patents?
  2. How are similar problems solved in leading industries?
  3. How are opposite problems solved?

Step 2-2:

Use STC operator (Size, Time, Cost).

  1. Imagine changing the dimensions of an object from its given value to infinity (S → ∞). Can this problem now be solved? If so, how?
  2. Imagine changing the dimensions of an object from its given value to zero (S → 0). Can this problem now be solved? If so, how?
  3. Imagine changing the time of the process (or the speed of an object) from its given value to infinity (T → ∞). Can this problem now be solved? If so, how?
  4. Imagine changing the time of the process (or the speed of an object) from its given value to zero (T → 0). Can this problem now be solved? If so, how?
  5. Imagine changing the cost (allowed spending) of an object or process from its given value to infinity (C →∞). Can this problem now be solved? If so, how?
  6. Imagine changing the cost (allowed spending) of an object or process from its given value to zero (C → 0). Can this problem now be solved? If so, how?

 Step 2-3:

Describe the conditions of the problem (without using special terms, and without stating what exactly must be thought out, found, or developed) in two phrases using the following format:

  1. “Given a system consisting of (describe its elements).” Example: “There is a pipeline with a valve.”
  2. “Element (state element), under conditions (state conditions), produces the undesirable effect (state effect).” Example: “Water with particles of iron ore is transported through this pipe. The particles of ore are wearing the valve.”

Step 2-4:

Enter the elements of Step 2-3a into a table:



a. Elements that can be changed, redesigned, or returned (under the conditions of this problem) Example from above: pipeline, valve.
b. Elements that are difficult to change (under the conditions of this problem) Example from above: water, ore particles.

Step 2-5:

Choose from Step 2-4a the easiest element to change, redesign, or tune. Note:

  1. If all elements in Step 2-4a are equal by degree of possible changes, begin with an immobile, element (usually they are easier to change than mobile ones).
  2. If there is an element in Step 2-4a that is connected with an undesirable effect (usually this is indicated in Step 2-3b), choose it only as the last resort.
  3. If the system has only the elements in Step 2-4b, take as an element the outside environment.

Example: Choose pipeline because valve is connected to the undesirable effect wearing.

Part 3: Analytical Stage

Step 3-1:

Formulate the IFR (Ideal Final Result) using the following format:

  1. Select the element from Step 2-5
  2. State its action
  3. State how it performs this action (when answering this question, always use the words “by itself”)
  4. State when it performs this action

Example: (a) Pipeline… (b) changes its cross section… © by itself… (d) when flow control is required… (e) without wearing.

Step 3-2:

Draw two pictures – (1) “Initial” (the condition before IFR), and (2) “Ideal” (condition upon attaining IFR). Note: The pictures may be arbitrary as long as they reflect the essences “Initial” and “Ideal”. The “Ideal” picture must reflect the written formulation of the IFR. Test of Step 3-2: All elements stated in Step 2-3a must be in the picture. If the outside environment is chosen in Step 2-5, it must be shown in the “ideal” section of the picture.

Step 3-3:

In the “ideal” picture, find the element indicated in Step 3-1a and highlight (by a different color, or other means) that part which cannot perform the required function under the required conditions. Example: In our problem, the internal surface of the pipeline will be such a part

Step 3-4:

Why can this element (by itself) not perform the required action? Supplementary questions:

  1. What do we expect from the highlighted area of the object?

Example: The internal surface of the pipe must, by itself, change its cross section in order to change the flow.

  1. What prevents it from performing this action by itself?

Example: It is immobile; therefore, it cannot separate itself from the pipe’s wall.

  1. What is the conflict between “a” and “b” above?

Example: It must be immobile (as an element of the rigid pipe) and mobile (as a contractible and releasable element of the controller).

Step 3-5:

Under what conditions can this part provide the required action? (What parameters should this part posses?) Note: Do not consider whether or not this is possible to realize at this time. Just name the characteristic and don’t be concerned about how it will be accomplished. Example: On the internal surface of the pipe a layer of some substance appears, bringing the internal surface closer to the axis of the pipe. When required, this layer disappears, and the internal surface moves further from the axis.

Step 3-6:

What must be done so that this element (the internal surface of the pipe) attains the characteristic described in Step 3-5? Auxiliary points:

  1. On your picture, indicate with arrows the forces that need to be applied to the highlighted part of the object in order to produce the desired characteristic.
  2. How can these forces be developed? (Do not consider methods that contradict the conditions in Step 3-1e).

Example: On the internal surface of the pipe, particles of iron ore or water (ice) can be grown. There are no other substances inside the pipe. This will determine our choice.

Step 3-7:

Formulate a concept that can be practically realized. If there are several concepts, number them with the most promising as number one. Write down all such concepts Example: Design a section of the pipe from a non-magnetic material. Then, with the help of an electro-magnetic field, “grow” particles of iron ore on the pipe’s internal surface.

Step 3-8

Provide a schematic for realizing the first concept Auxiliary questions:

  1. What is the “aggregrate” (composite parts) state of the working element of the new device?
  2. How does the device change during one cycle?
  3. How does the device change after many cycles?

After creating this concept, it is recommended that you return to Step 3-7 and consider other concepts.

Part 4: Preliminary Analysis of the Arrived-at Concept

Step 4-1:

What is getting better, and what is getting worse, during the utilization of the new idea or concept? Write down what is achieved and what is getting more complicated or more expensive.

Step 4-2:

Is it possible to prevent that which is getting worse by changing the proposed device or method? Make a drawing of the changed device or method

Step 4-3:

What is getting worse (more complicated, more expensive) now?

Step 4-4:

Compare gains and losses.

  1. Which is larger?
  2. Why?

If there is greater gain than loss (even in the future), go to Part Six, the Synthesis Stage of ARIZ. If losses are greater than gains, return to Step 3-1. Record, on the same paper as the original analysis, the sequence of the secondary analysis as well as its result. Proceed to Step 4-5.

Step 4-5:

If the gain is now greater than any losses, go to Part Six, the Synthesis Stage of ARIZ. If the secondary analysis did not produce a new result, return to Step 2-4 and check the table. Take from Step 2-5 other elements of the system and make a new analysis. Write down the second analysis and its result. If there is no satisfactory solution after Step 4-5, go to the next part of ARIZ.

Part 5: Operative Stage

Step 5-1:

From the vertical column of the Contradiction Matrix, choose the characteristic that must be improved.

Step 5-2:

  1. a.      How can we improve this characteristic (from Step 5-1) utilizing any known means (if losses are not considered)?
  2. b.      Which characteristic becomes unacceptable if a known means is used?

Step 5-3:

From the horizontal row of the Contradiction Matrix, choose that characteristic corresponding to Step 5-2b.

Step 5-4:

In the Matrix, find the principles for removing the technical contradiction (this means, locate the cell at the intersection of the column from Step 5-1 and the row from Step 5-3).

Step 5-5:

Investigate how these principles can be used (we will discuss these principles in the following chapters) If the problem is now solved, return to Part 4 of ARIZ, evaluate the new idea, and then go to Part 6 of ARIZ. If the problem is not solved, perform the following Part 5 Steps.

Step 5-6:

Investigate the possibility of applying physical phenomena and effects

Step 5-7:

Investigate the possibility of changing the action’s point in time/duration. Auxiliary questions:

  1. Is it possible to remove a contradiction by “stretching” the time frame of its action?
  2. Is it possible to remove a contradiction by “shrinking” the time frame of its action?
  3. Is it possible to remove a contradiction by providing an action before an object finishes its operation?
  4. Is it possible to remove a contradiction by providing an action after an object starts to operation?
  5. If the process is continuous, investigate the possibility of making a transition to periodic action.
  6. If the process is periodic, investigate the possibility of making a transition to continuous action.

Step 5-8:

How are similar problems solved in nature? Auxiliary questions:

  1. How have non-living parts of nature solved this problem?
  2. How did ancient plants or animals solve this problem?
  3. How do contemporary organisms solve this problem?
  4. What corrections must be made in consideration of specific new technology and materials?

Step 5-9:

Investigate the possibility of making changes to those objects that operate in conjunction with ours Auxiliary questions:

  1. What super-system does our system belong to?
  2. How can this problem be solved if we change the super-system?

If the problem is still not solved, return to Step 1-3. If it is solved, return to Part 4 of ARIZ – evaluate the found idea – and then proceed to Part 6 of ARIZ.

Step 6-1:

Determine how the super system to which our modified system belongs must be changed.

Step 6-2:

Explore how our modified system may be used differently.

Step 6-3:

Utilize the newly found technical idea (or an idea opposite to the one found) to solve other technical problems.

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