Intra-TRIZ Contradiction

G. L. Filkovsky, TRIZ Master,
New York, USA
e-mail:Gfilkovsky@us.nomura.com

Various TRIZ books and articles quote various numbers of inventions supposedly analyzed by G.S. Altshuller to construct the TRIZ principles: 40000, 100000, 500000... I wanted to find the original numbers mentioned by Altshuller and looked into some of his articles. I have found the numbers, but I also have found some contradiction, for which I'm requesting a readers' help to resolve:

More than once (for example, in http://www.altshuller.ru/triz/standards.asp) Altshuller said, "analysis of more than 40000 inventions led to a construction of the 40 principles". However in another article, http://www.altshuller.ru/triz/technique1a.asp, he wrote, "large statistics, 80 - 100 examples of strong application, has been accumulated for the 40 principles". Even if we consider the best case of 100 examples for each one of the 40 principles we get only 4000 inventions. What had happened to the rest 36000?

I can see three logical explanations:

1. The other 36000 inventions are "level 1" solutions, which do not overcome a contradiction, do not require any inventive principle, and have been filtered out. If this is correct, the statistics are wrong and Altshuller should have been rather said, "analysis of 4000 strong inventions led to construction of the 40 principles".

2. The other 36000 inventions do not apply the 40 principles. If this is correct, the statistics are not in favor of the 40 principles: only 10% of inventions covered.

3. The other 36000 inventions are not strong applications. If this is correct, the statistics are not in favor of the 40 principles: 9 out of every 10 applications are not strong.

My question to the readers: which explanation is correct? Or rather, what is a correct solution for this intra-TRIZ contradiction?