Thoughts Guiding Systems Corp.,

Ottawa, Canada.

e-mail:karasik@sympatico.ca

TRIZ distinguishes between resolving contradictions between parameters of a system and trading them off (or compromising). The former is labeled to be the true inventive approach to solving problems and the later is branded as not inventive.

Meanwhile, paradoxically as it may appear, one can practically uncouple contradictory parameters (i.e. resolve contradiction between them) by ... trading one parameter for the other. The procedure is as follows.

Suppose that parameters X_{1} and X_{2} are contradictory. Let us instead of uncoupling them trade X_{2} for X_{1}. In other words,
let's make the value of X_{1} OK at the expense of X_{2}.
Then to make the value of X_{2} OK too relationship between X_{1} and X_{2} can be made
contingent upon a third parameters X_{3}. (__Such a dependency can be either artificially introduced with the help of some
artificial means or just discovered as already existing and controlable.__) Then one can leave X_{1} as is and make X_{2} OK too at the expense of
X_{3}.

If the value of X_{3} does not matter, then the problem is solved: X_{1} is OK, X_{2} is OK.
The essence of invention here is inventing (or discovering) a means
of making correlation between X_{1} and X_{2} to depend on X_{3}.

Suppose, however, that the value of X_{3} matters and it is not OK when both X_{1} and X_{2} are OK. Then the above procedure can be repeated.
The means of making correlation between X_{1}, X_{2}, and X_{3} to depend on X_{4} can be invented or discovered.
As soon as it is done, X_{4} can be set to such a value that all three parameters X_{1}, X_{2}, and X_{3} will be OK.

If the value of X_{4} does not matter, this is the end to solving the problem. Otherwise, the procedure can be repeated indefinitely.
At some point it will always stop. It will happen when all parameters X_{1}, X_{2}, X_{3}, ...., X_{N} become OK and X_{N+1} would not matter.
(It can be proven that such a finite N does exist for any engineering problem but the proof is beyond the scope of this article, which involves the subtle properties of N-dimensional manifolds.)

__
Many inventions in electronics, radio and other fields were made by such a step-by-step introduction of new parameters
to play with and trade them off rather than by resolving contradictions between the initial set of parameters.
__
The inventiveness here was not in resolving contradictions but in inventing/discovering a means of making relationships between the given
parameters to depend on new parameters. These kind of inventions was overlooked in TRIZ which never investigated how they came about.