The Invention Machine's Evolution: from plagiarism to semantic nonsense

Almost 25 years ago I introduced functional diagrams to TRIZ, proposed the first trimming algorithm [1], and moved on to other ideas. In the 1990s I surprisingly learned that functional diagrams and their trimming were put into the foundation of the Invention Machine's software called TechOptimizer. Since then Invention Machine Corp. introduced many other software products but all of them rotated around the idea of putting functional diagrams

to various use. In TechOptimizer they were used for problem description, trimming, etc. In the latest product, GoldFire Innovator, they are used as "semantic index" [2].

What is the reason behind chewing one and the same idea over and over again? - I wondered. In search for an answer to this question, I decided to follow in the footsteps of the partisans of the idea that TRIZ is deeply rooted in the national culture. I recalled that the traditional Belorussian cuisine was based on potato only: they fried it, boiled it, baked it, mashed it, etc. ("Бульбу жарят, бульбу парят, бульбу кушают и так.") May be this is the reason of why all Invention Machine's products remind me the dishes of the Belorussian cuisine: fried potato, boiled potato, baked potato, mashed potato, etc. May be the fanciers of the idea that TRIZ (and primarily Invention Machine) is deeply rooted in the Russian (and primarily Belorussian) culture were not so mistaken!

Anyway, I am not going to argue with them. I would only like to point out to some problems with the "semantic indexing technology". For example, when Mikhail Verbistky claims that the proposition "electrolytic dissociation can be successfully used to measure air humidity" implies that "electrolytic dissociation" is Subject, "air humidity" is Object, and "to measure" is Action, he is not simply wrong. He talks nonsense. Electrolytic dissociation does not measure anything. It does not provide one with a number which is the measurement of humidity. Mikhail Verbitsky seemingly does not understand the semantics of word "measure".

Besides, Mikhail Verbitsky has very strange views on the problems inventors face. He seemingly believes that all they are always concerned with is how to perform some action. But how about this: "how to perform something in the minimum number of steps ?" Not action is a problem here. And even not its final result. But how to achieve it in the minimum number of steps.

Etc., etc., etc.

R E F E R E N C E S:

  1. Y. B. Karasik,"On classification of dualities in technical systems" (in the Proceedings of the USSR Conference on Advanced Methods of Engineering Design, 1980, vol. 2, pp. 141--145).
  2. M. Verbitsky, "Semantic TRIZ", The February 2004 issue of the TRIZ-journal.