On Contradiction Matrix of Non-Altshullerian Type

Y. B. Karasik,
Thoughts Guiding Systems Corp.,
Ottawa, Canada.
e-mail:karasik@sympatico.ca

The fundamental flaw of the concept of contradiction matrix, as Altshuller proposed it, is not easily seen from the standpoint of technology. But as soon as one tries to expand it to other areas this drawback transpires immediately. Consider, for example, economics. It also has contradictory parameters: inflation vs employment; exchange rate vs trade deficit; price of bonds vs their yield; etc. But one cannot directly improve any of these parameters. Policy makers normally do it through manipulating interest rates and/or other directly controllable parameters. Thus, it is senseless to try and create contradiction matrix of Altshullerian type:

  inflation rate employment rate exchange rate trade deficit bond price bond yield
inflation rate            
employment rate            
exchange rate            
trade deficit            
bond price            
bond yield            

It is senseless because:

  1. none of these parameters are directly controllable, and because
  2. change in ONE parameter on the left of the matrix affects not one but MANY (sometimes all) parameters at the top.
That is why another matrix makes more sense:

  inflation rate employment rate exchange rate trade deficit bond price bond yield
interest rates            
tax rates            
money supply
(amount of money printed)
           
government spending            
tariffs            

Questions immediately arise:

  1. what if engineering parameters in contradiction matrix of Altshullerian type can also be subdivided into directly and indirectly controllable ? and
  2. what if one engineering parameter may simultaneously contradict to many others ?

In contradiction matrix of Altshullerian type the latter possibility is not taken into account. It is tacitly assumed that one parameter on the left contradicts to just one parameter at the top: e.g. speed contradicts to weight but does not simultaneously contradict to the rest of 39 parameters. Otherwise contradiction matrix would not work. Indeed, if one parameter may simultaneously contradict to all (or several) others, these contradictions are hardly separable (because resolution of one may negate resolution of the other) and their one by one resolution is hardly possible. Then the only method to resolve them all simultaneously is that which is common to all (or several) cells of the same row. But there is often no method common to several cells of the same row. In this case contradiction matrix suggests nothing !

As for subdividing engineering parameters into directly and indirectly controllable, it is indeed possible. Here is such a subdivision:

Hence, contradiction matrix of non-Altshulerian type for the above parameters looks as follows:

 
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weight of moving object                                                                            
length of moving object                                                                            
area of moving object                                                                            
volume of moving object                                                                            
weight of stationary object                                                                            
length of stationary object                                                                            
area of stationary object                                                                            
volume of stationary object                                                                            
speed                                                                            
force                                                                            
stress or pressure                                                                            
object's shape                                                                            

Unlike in economics in engineering directly controllable parameters are also controllable indirectly. Indeed, when one increases length, area, or volume of an object he/she thereby increases its weight too. That is why directly controllable parameters are placed both on the left and at the top of the above matrix.

What is immediately clear from subdiving contradictory parameters into directly and indirectly controllable ones is that Altshuller's 39 parameters feature many indirectly controllable parameters for which there are no means of control in the matrix. Indeed, how, for instance, can device complexity or loss of information be affected by changing weight/length/area/volume/speed/force/stress or shape ? Hence, to create a meaningful contradiction matrix of non-Altshullerian type for technology the number of directly controllable parameters has to be increased significantly.

Surprisingly as it may appear but all attempts to expand Altshuller's list of contradictory parameters in the course of work on contradiction matrices of Altshullerian type (such as Matrix 2003, for instance) resulted mostly in adding indirectly controllable parameters rather than directly controllable ones. In other words, the effort was expended in the wrong direction.

Thoughts Guiding Systems Corporation is the first to amass the sufficient set of directly controllable parameters and create the first meaningful contradiction matrix of non-Altshullerian type. The interested reader is referred to its product section.