Are the Laws of TRIZ Statistical ?

Y. B. Karasik
Thoughts Guiding Systems Corp.,
Ottawa, Canada.

In view of the numerous counter-examples to TRIZ "laws" published in this journal, some people started talking about the "statistical nature of TRIZ laws". For example, Sergey Ikovenko of GEN3Partners announced at the recent TRIZ conference ETRIA-2005 that "all TRIZ laws (the Standards included) work in the statistical sense. In other words, it is quite possible to arrive at a solution that contradicts to some of them. The main thing is not to be dogmatic !"

Well, it makes sense to speak about statistical laws only when their probabilities are known. What is the probability that a system will evolve along S-curve, for example ? Does Sergey Ikovenko know that ? Since the law of evolution along S-curve is statistical, a system may evolve along other curves. Which curves are admissible then ? Can it evolve along any curve ? What if the probability that it evolves along a sinusoid is higher than the probability that it evolves along S-curve ? Should we still claim that it is the law of evolution along S-curve rather than the law of evolution along a sinusoid ?

If success in applying Standards is not guaranteed, then what brings about success when the Standards fail ? Some other tools beyond the Standards and TRIZ ? What if the probability that these non-TRIZ tools work succesfully is higher than that of the Standards ? Should not we then better always resort to these non-TRIZ tools ?

If Sergey Ikovenko thinks that attribute "statistical" shields TRIZ "laws" against counter-examples and refutation then he is dead wrong !