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TRIZ, (pronounced [triz]), is a Russian acronym for "Teoriya Resheniya Izobretatelskikh Zadatch" (Теория решения изобретательских задач), a Theory of solving inventive problems or Theory of inventive problems solving (TIPS) (less known as Theory of Solving Inventors' Problems), developed by Genrich Altshuller and his colleagues since 1946.

TRIZ is a methodology, tool set, knowledge base, and model-based technology for generating innovative ideas and solutions for problem solving. TRIZ provides tools and methods for use in problem formulation, system analysis, failure analysis, and patterns of system evolution (both 'as-is' and 'could be'). TRIZ, in contrast to techniques such as brainstorming (which is based on random idea generation), aims to create an algorithmic approach to the invention of new systems, and the refinement of old systems.

TRIZ is an important approach and methodology in Inventology and Creatology as science of Creativity and Innovation ,TRIZical Creatology (Sayed Mahdi Golestan Hashemi,2001).


TRIZ way for creative problem solving

TRIZical Creatology

Since childhood, Altshuller showed his talents as an inventor. When he was just 15 years old he received his first inventor certificate for an underwater apparatus. In 1946, at the age of 20, he developed his first mature invention - a method for escaping from an immobilized submarine without diving gear. Soon Altshuller was offered employment in a patent department of the Soviet Navy. Altshuller's job was to invent, and more importantly for the later development of TRIZ, to help others invent.

Faced with the challenge of inventing, time and again Altshuller searched literature for some kind of a method for inventing, which he believed must have existed. To his disappointment he could not find any clues as to the existence of such a method. Altshuller came to the conclusion that he needed to develop such a method himself. He started off by examining a large database of his own and other people's inventions, and soon he arrived at his most important finding: Inventing is the removal of a contradiction with the help of certain principles. To develop a method for inventing, he argued, one must scan a large number of inventions, identify the contradictions underlying them, and formulate the principle used by the inventor for their removal.

Is it possible to learn to be an inventor? Soviet engineer and researcher Genrich Saulovich Altshuller believed that such a thing was in fact possible. He developed TRIZ, the theory and practice of the science of invention.

On initial stages of work, Altshuller discovered that principles found while analyzing patents from one industry are applicable for problems in other industries. TRIZ evolved also by transferring strong principles from one field to another.

His results are being applied to solve creative invention problems not just within all branches of engineering, but within many other technical and non-technical fields as well.


Altshuller began to develop TRIZ methodology while working in USSR patent office at the time of Stalin. He and his colleagues reviewed over 200,000 patent abstracts in order to find out in what way the innovation had taken place. Incarcerated under political charges, he continued his work on TRIZ while in the Gulag labor camps. He eventually developed 40 Principles of Invention, several Laws of the Evolution of Technical Systems (Laws of Technical Systems Evolution), the concepts of technical and physical contradictions that creative inventions resolve, the concept of Ideality of a system and numerous other theoretical and practical approaches; together, this extensive work represents a unique contribution to the development of creativity and inventive problem-solving.

While Genrich Saulovich Altshuller was still alive, he repeatedly stated, "TRIZ, as a science, must belong to all.", saying that TRIZ should have no limitations to whom and where it can be used. However, three years after the death of Altshuller, the MATRIZ Association (M.S. Rubin, director) filed the application for trademark registration on TRIZ. The application was filed secretly, without informing the heirs of TRIZ’s developer. No inquiry was made by MATRIZ as to their opinion, nor was the will of the developer addressed.

The tools developed under Altshuller's leadership were: 40 Principles 1946-1971, ARIZ 1959-1985, Separation Principles 1946-1985, Substance-Field Analysis (Su-Field Analysis) 1973-1981, Standard Solutions 1977-1985, Natural Effects (Scientific Effects) 1970-1980, Patterns of Evolution 1975-1980... The different schools for TRIZ and individual practitioners have continued to improve and add to the methodology.

Grounds & relation with other disciplines

Foundational knowledge which TRIZ is based on are invention documents. TRIZ was created as an abstraction of the "world's best solutions", as appearing in the development of inventions.

TRIZ is interdisciplinary and is closely related with ontology, logic, systems of science, psychology, history of technology, history of culture and more.

TRIZ is Science of Inventology and Creatology. Creatology is Science of Creativity and Innovation.

TRIZ in the world

Journal of Creatology & TRIZ{Editor-in-chief:Sayed Mahdi Golestan Hashemi} Iran Research Center for Creatology,Innovation & TRIZ

TRIZ essentials

Basic TRIZ terms

Structure of TRIZ:

  • Theories: Life Strategy of Creative Individual (LSCI), Theory of Creative Life Strategy (TCLS), Development of Creative Imagination (DCI), ...
  • Laws: Laws of Technical Systems Evolution, ...
  • Methods (techniques):

ARIZ, “Size-Time-Cost” Technique, System Analysis Technique, 40 Inventive Principles, Su-field analysis, Modeling with “Smart Little People” (MSLP)...

  • Basic terms: Level of Invention, Ideal End Result (IER) (syn. Ideal Final Result (IFR)), Contradiction (Administrative, Technical, Physical), Resource, Natural effect (syn. Scientific effect) Physical effect, Inventive Problem, Maxi-Problem, Su-Field (Substance-Field), System, Technical System (TS), Operation Time, Work Tool (Work Unit, not Unit of Work), Main Manufacturing Process MMP, Worthy Goal, ... for more see BASIC TRIZ TERMS/version 1.0

Identifying a problem: contradictions

Altshuller believed that inventive problems stem from contradictions (one of the basic TRIZ concepts) or tradeoffs between two or more elements, such as "If we want more acceleration, we need a larger engine - but that will increase the cost of the car". That is, more of something desirable also brings more of something else undesirable, or less of something else also desirable. These are called Technical Contradictions by Altshuller. He also defined so-called Physical or inherent contradictions: we may need at the same time more and less of something. For instance, we may need higher temperature in order to melt a compound more rapidly, but less temperature in order to achieve a homogeneous mixture.

An inventive situation might involve several such contradictions. The inventor typically does not resolve a contradiction by stepping in the middle of the tradeoff - for that, no special inventivity is needed. Rather, he develops some creative approach for dissolving the contradiction: for instance, he would invent an engine that does produce more acceleration without increasing the cost of the engine.

Standard solutions

Inventive principles and the matrix of contradictions

Genrich S. Altshuller screened patents in order to find out what kind of contradictions were resolved or dissolved by the invention and the way this had been achieved. From this, he developed a set of 40 inventive principles and later a Matrix of Contradictions. Rows of the matrix indicate the 39 system features that one typically wants to improve, such as speed, weight, accuracy of measurement and so on. Columns refer to typical undesired results. Each matrix cell points to principles that have been most frequently used in patents in order to resolve the contradiction.

For instance, Dolgashev mentions the following contradiction: to increase accuracy of measurement of machined balls without incurring in expensive microscopes and control equipment. The matrix cell in row "accuracy of measurement" and column "complexity of control" points to several principles, among them the Copying Principle, which states "Use a simple and inexpensive / optical / copy (with a suitable scale) instead of an object which is complex, expensive, fragile or inconvenient to operate". From this general invention principle, the following idea might solve the problem: take a high-resolution image of the machined ball. A screen with a grid might provide the required measurement.

Laws of technical system evolution

main article:Laws of Technical Systems Evolution

Altshuller also studied the way technical systems have been developed and improved over time. From this, he discovered several trends ( so called Laws of Technical Systems Evolution) that help engineers to predict what are the most likely improvements that can be made to a given product. The most important of these laws involves the ideality of a system (another basic TRIZ concept).

Substance-field analysis

One more technique that is frequently used by inventors involves the analysis of substances, fields and other resources that are currently not being used and that can be found within the system or nearby. Note, that TRIZ uses non-standard definition for substances and fields. G.S. Altshuller developed methods to analyze resources; several of his invention principles involve the use of different substances and fields that help resolve contradictions and increase ideality of a technical system. For instance, videotext systems utilized television signals to transfer data, by taking advantage of the small time segments between TV frames in the signals.

ARIZ - algorithm of inventive problems solving

main article: Algorithm of Inventive Problems Solving

ARIZ (russ. acronym of Алгоритм решения изобретательских задач) - Algorithm of Inventive Problems Solving is a list of (about 85) step-by-step procedures to solve very complicated invention problems, where other tools of TRIZ (Su-field analysis, 40 inventive principles, etc.) are not applicable.



Inventor David Levy, whose portfolio includes work on the functional layout of the Apple PowerBook, calls the methodology "tremendous." (Though he does not use TRIZ formally, Levy says his practices naturally echo those found in the discipline.) "The most exciting part about TRIZ is, it's not limited to how to make a widget," says Levy. "It's how to approach problem solving, it's how to approach relationships, it's how to approach societal problems. It's really how to be creative and to observe the world and solve problems." source

Alternative approaches

Main article: creativity techniques

3 strategies for problem solving or creativity

There are several other approaches that purportedly help develop the inventive power of our minds. Most of them are quite heuristical.

  1. Trial-and-error
  2. Brainstorming
  3. Morphological analysis
  4. Method of focal objects
  5. Lateral thinking


  • List of technologies


Evolution of technical systems

Development of creative personality

Commercial TRIZ software

A number of software packages exist today to reduce the time needed to solve innovative problems successfully. One has been developed by Valery Tsourikov of The Invention Machine in Boston, Massachusetts, another one by Zlotin and Zusman for Ideation International in Southfield, Michigan, and the third one - by Yevgeny Karasik of Thoughts Guiding Systems Corporation.


  • Altshuller, Genrich (1994). The Art of Inventing (And Suddenly the Inventor Appeared), translated by Lev Shulyak, Worcester, MA: Technical Innovation Center. ISBN 0-9640740-1-X.
  • Darrell, Mann (2002). Hands-On Systematic Innovation, CREAX, Belgium: CRAEX. ISBN 90-77071-02-4.

External links

  • Iran Research Center for Creatology,Innovation & TRIZ [2](Founder and Head : Sayed Mahdi Golestan Hashemi)
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