On Classification of Inventive Solutions into 12 Levels,
Why Valeri Souchkov Has Not Become New Copernicus

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

The middle ages' astronomers saw the deficiencies of Ptolemy's concept of Earth as the resting center of the Universe but did not dare to reject this sacred principle. Instead, they tried to sustain and uphold it by introducing new epicycles.

Similarly, Souchkov sees the confusion and arbitrariness of Altshuller's classification of inventive solutions into 5 levels, but does not dare to reject the sacred number. Instead, he offers another backing to 5 levels [1].

It is very simple: Level 5 are discoveries (new principles in Souchkov terminololgy); Level 4 are new pairs: function + principle to implement the function; Level 3 are extensions of known pairs function + principle to new markets (thereby creating a new triple: function + principle + market); Level 2 are qualitative improvements to the known triples function + principle + market; Level 1 are quantitative improvements to the known triples.

It is easy to see that Level 4 includes 3 different things:

  1. Implementations of OLD functions with the help of NEW principles;
  2. Implementations of NEW functions with the help of NEW principles;
  3. Implementations of NEW functions with the help of OLD principles.
Why they should be mixed into one and the same level (except for preserving the sacred TRIZ classification into 5 levels) only Allah knows.

Moreover, since such a factor as markets is used along with functions and principles in definitions of some levels, it is more logical to take markets into account when defining all levels. Then we arrive at the following classification:

Had Valeri Souchkov had the courage and wisdom to propose the above classification (or its like), we would have called him Copernicus of TRIZ. But as matters stand now his work belongs to Level 3 at most - hitting the same TRIZ market with a qualitative improvement to implementation of the old function (5-level classification) with the help of the known principles.

R E F E R E N C E S:

1. Valeri Souchkov, Differenciating Among the Five Levels of Solutions, The July 2007 issue of TRIZ-journal.