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

In the wake of the tsunami disaster in the South-East Asia, media started to lament the absense of tsunami warning system. However, such a system would be extremely expensive. Practically, most coastal areas around the globe have to be equipped with such a system to make it to make any sense. It is because nobody knows where tsunamis will strike next. Today it is Thailand, Sri-Lanka, India, etc. Tomorrow it can be Australia, Singapoore, Vientam, etc.

The enormity of the cost of such a system only matches the enormity of destruction and loss of life caused by its absense. The contradiction seems to be extremely exacerbated and lends itself to applying TRIZ.

In search for a solution, I unfolded the Contradiction Matrix and was surprised to find no such contradictory parameters as Safety and Cost. They are not on the list of Altshuller's 39 contradictory parameters ! Very strange, especially taking into account that Safety always contradicts to Cost, and not only in the case of tsunami disasters.

Being aware that various researchers have been working on updating and improving the contradiction matrix in the recent years, I decided to check to see if they included "Safety vs Cost" and if so, which Inventive Principles they proposed for resolution of this contradiction.

Search on the Internet yeilded the following results. Darrell Mann (who else if not this notorious trail-blazer !) included "Safety/Vulnerability" as a new parameter [1]. But I found no Cost associated with it ! Moreover, I found no mention of such an important parameter as Efficiency. There are only its particular cases, such as Productivity and Reliability, which do not cover all types of efficiency, though.

In short, my drive to apply TRIZ so that to come up with a solution against tsunamis, resulted in nothing. The TRIZ world turned out to be as unprepared to catastrophic events as the rest of the world !

Then I recalled that the same happened with Columbia accident. My attempts back then to apply contradiction matrix resulted in discovery that such contradictory parameters as "Cost of development" and "Cost of maintenance" were overlooked [2].

Well, the time has come to put all these costs together and include them (along with some other missed parameters) into the following matrix 2005:

Cost of design Cost of proto- typing Cost of testing Cost of manu- facturing Cost of deploying Cost of functioning Cost of malfunction Cost of maintenance Cost of dismantling Safety Efficiency
Cost of design ??????????
Cost of prototyping? ?????????
Cost of testing??????????
Cost of manufacturing??????????
Cost of deploying??????????
Cost of functioning??????????
Cost of malfunction??????????
Cost of maitenance??????????
Cost of dismantling??????????

Now we have to start populating the cells of the matrix with methods of resolving technical contradictions. Altshuller's 40 principles are of little use here, of course. When one wants to reduce cost he resorts to the following tricks:

  1. Specialization (as opposed to Althsuller's "Universality", although in some cases it also may help to reduce cost);
  2. Automation; (Surprisingly missed by Altshuller in the age of automating of everything. Although people that clung to 40 principles may argue that Altshuller's "Feedback" principle covers "Automation", it does not. Introduction of feedbacks is only one step towards automation. But even for feedbacks, TRIZ lacks many tricks. Some of them listed below.)
  3. Make feedback periodic;
  4. Change (increase or decrease) the feedback frequency, if it is already periodic;
  5. Make feedback continuous; (Also helps sometimes.)
  6. Make feedback aperiodic;
  7. Outsourcing;
  8. In-house production; (Yes, sometimes it may help too!)
  9. Bring so far uncontrolled parameters/processes under control; (Also surprisingly missed by Altshuller in the age when everything is being brought under control.)
  10. Ease excessive (or unnecessary) control; (Yes, it also helps. Sometimes, of course.)
  11. Re-arrange/reshafle parts or units; (Re-arranging parts is so common even in mechanical engineering that I am surprised how Altshuller managed to miss it too.)
  12. Decentralize;
  13. Or, conversely, centralize;
  14. Etc., etc., etc.

Truly speaking, all of these principles fit any cell of the matrix (as any Altshuller principle fits any cell of his matrix !) But in this case the matrix ceases to make any sense. That is why, we follow the classical TRIZ approach. Namely, after analyzing 100,000 innovative solutions that resolve contradictions between various costs, the cells of the matrix were populated as follows (according to the collected statistics about the likelyhood of a particular principle to help):

Cost of design Cost of proto- typing Cost of testing Cost of manu- facturing Cost of deploying Cost of functioning Cost of malfunction Cost of maintenance Cost of dismantling Safety Efficiency
Cost of design Bring processes under control; Re-shafle units Outsource the function; Centralize Automate; Bring it in-house; Decrease frequency of reporting Outsource design to India and deployment to Mexico Outsource the function; or Bring it in-house Decrease frequency of the bad news reporting; Centralize Decrease frequency of reporting; Ease control Make parameters controlable Outsource to China Outsource to Russia
Cost of prototyping Outsource somewhere Make reporting periodic; Centralize; Re-shafle units Bring processes under control Specialize; Increase degree of specialization Bring it in-house; Make feedback continuous Decentralize Outsource; Reshafle; and Bring it under control Ease control Automate
Cost of testing Bring it in-house; Decentralize Make reporting aperiodic Specialize Automate; Re-arrange parts Decentralize; Make feedback continuous Reshafle and Outsource Bring it in-house Centralize; Make reporting periodic Outsource to Israel Outsource to India
Cost of manufacturing Automate, Bring it in-house; Decrease frequency of reporting Centralize; Reshafle units Make feedback aperiodic Bring it in-house Increase frequency of reporting Ease control Increase the degree of universality Specialize Decentralize Bring it in-house; Make monitoring continuous
Cost of deploying Outsource to Mexico Bring processes under control Re-arrange parts; Automate Decentralize Make feedback aperiodic Centralize and Specialize Automate Make it universal Reshafle the units Ease control
Cost of functioning Outsource the function; or Bring it in-house Specialize; Increase degree of specialization Decentralize; Make feedback continuous Increase frequency of reporting Make feedback periodic Create Palestinian state Outsource somewhere Bring processes under control Decrease the frequence of bad news reporting Decentralize; and Get Universal
Cost of malfunction Outsource design to India Make it universal Reshafle Ease control Decentralize Withdraw unilaterally from Gaza Bring it in-house Make reporting aperiodic Centralize Automate
Cost of maitenance Decrease frequency of reporting; Ease control Decentralize Bring it in-house Increase the degree of universality Automate Outsource somewhere Make feedback continuous Specialize Increase degree of control Make monitoring aperiodic
Cost of dismantling Make parameters controlable Outsource and Reshafle Make monitoring periodic; Centralize Specialize Make feedback aperiodic Ease control Decentralize Re-arrange parts Bring processes under control Bring it in-house
Safety Monitor continuously Increase control Automate Decentralize Re-arrange units Increase the frequency of bad news reporting Make monitoring continuous Get Universal Make reporting periodic Outsource to China
Efficiency Outsource to Russia Centralize Get Universal Reshafle Make parameters controlable Automate Specialize Bring in-house Decentralize Outsource to India

We are now set up to meet the challenges of 2005 !

R E F E R E N C E S:

  1. Darrell Mann and Simon DeWulf, "Updating the Contradiction Matrix", in Proceedings of TRIZCON2003 - the 5th Annual International Conference of Altshuller Institute for TRIZ Studies, (held at Philadelphia, PA, USA, on March 16-18, 2003.)
  2. Y. Karasik, "On contradiction between the cost of development and the cost of maintenance/support" , Anti TRIZ-journal, Vol. 2, No. 9