On Forming Super-System Through Mono-Bi-Poly

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

The initial version of the "law" of transition to super-system looked as follows:

"Having exhausted all avenues of improvement, a system gets incorporated into a supersystem as a part and stops evolving. The further evolution happens to the supersystem only".

This law was first published by Altshuller in a widely circulated manuscript in the mid-1970s and was presented in the same wording in "Creativity as an exact science" published in 1979. But in the second half of 1980s the law was re-formulated to specify that transition to supersystem happens according to "mono-bi-poly" scenario: the system gets combined with another similar system to form a bi-system, etc.1 In the late 1980s S. Litvin et al "discovered" another way of transition to supersystem via combining alternative systems.

What is the pre-history of all these modifications and "discoveries" ? In 1982 I published an article in "Chemistry & Life" magazine which laid the foundation of the algebra of systems transformations. Since the magazine was not especially mathematical, I restricted myself to presentation of just elementary transformations of the following kinds:

A ===> -A

These formulas obviously include "mono-bi-poly" trend, "Litvin's" combining alternative systems trend, etc.

Anyway, such a "specification" does not save the "law" of transition to supersystem from refutation. To be combined with other similar systems, a system does not have to exhaust all avenues of improvement. For example, multi-engine aircrafts appeared at the very early stages of such engines improvement. It would be more fair to say that bi- and poly-systems appear when the corresponding mono-systems are far from being perfect and far from exhausting all avenues of their improvement. "Mono-bi-poly" trend cannot specify "transition to super-system" trend because it is characteristic of the early stages of a system improvement whereas transition to supersystem is characteristic of its latest stages.


1 see e.g. the following quotation from "The Laws of System Evolution" by Vladimir Petrov: