TRIZ Forum: Conference Report (31) -- Papers A     

Personal Report of ETRIA TFC 2016
    Introductions to Individual Papers:

    A. Methodology of TRIZ (6 Papers)
Toru Nakagawa (Osaka Gakuin Univ., Japan), 
Mar. 24, 2017 (in English)
Posted on Mar. 30, 2017; Updated: Apr. 1, 2017

For going to Japanese pages, press buttons. 

Editor's Note (Toru Nakagawa, Mar. 24, 2017)

This is a part of my 'Personal Report of ETRIA TFC 2016', whose main page was posted on Feb. 14, 2017.  The Section (5) Introductions to Papers is going to be posted in 7 HTML pages, categorized with their topics for easier access. 

A.  Methodology of TRIZ (the present page)(Mar. 30, 2017)
B.  Integral Use of TRIZ with Relevant Methods (Mar. 30, 2017)
C.  Case Studies in Industries (Apr. 24, 2017)
D. Promotion of TRIZ in Industries (Jun. 4. 2017)
E. Usage of TRIZ in Education and in Academia (Jun. 4, 2017)
F. Patent Studies   (Jun. 21, 2017)
G. Applications to Soft & Non-technical Areas (Jun 21; Jul. 18, 2017)

Editor's Note (Toru Nakagawa, Mar. 29, 2017)  Most figures are shown here from the Authors' slides under the Authors' permissions.  Several of the figures in this page are blocked temporarily.  They are taken from the Authors' full text in the Proceedings (when proper slides are not available).  I am asking for the permission of citing them here to the copyrighters, i.e., the Authors, ETRIA Board, and the Publisher (Elsevier or Springer). 

Top of the page   Personal Report TFC2016 (Parent page) A. Methodology of TRIZ B. Integral Use of TRIZ with Relevant Methods C. Case Studies in Industries D. Promotion of TRIZ in Industries E. Usage of TRIZ in Education and in Academia F. Patent Studies G. Applications to Soft & Non-technical Areas   ETRIA Web site Japanese page



  A.  Methodology of TRIZ    marks are highly recommended.






Problem definition and identification of contradictions in the interdisciplinary areas of mechatronic engineering

Didier Casner (Germany) et al.


How to Generate Simple Model Solutions Systematically from Function Analysis Diagram

Min-Gyu Lee (Finland & Korea)


TRIZ-based approach for process intensification and problem solving in process engineering: concepts and research agenda

Didier Casner et al. Germany)


Method of time-dependent TRIZ function ranking

Nikolai Efimov-Soini et al. (Finland)


Tech-Finder: a Dynamic Pointer to Effects

Davide Russo et al. (Italy) 


Statistical use of the TRIZ contradiction matrix, experimentation on a ball bearing technical issue

Elie Aupetitgendre et al. (France)


A1.  Problem definition and identification of contradictions in the interdisciplinary areas of mechatronic engineering
Didier Casner, Pavel Livotov (Offenburg Univ., Germany), Rémy Houssin, Jean Renaud (INSA Strasbourg, France)

The Authors' Abstract is quoted here first:

The modern TRIZ is today considered as the most organized and comprehensive methodology for knowledge-driven invention and innovation. When applying TRIZ for inventive problem solving, the quality of obtained solutions strongly depends on the level of completeness of the problem analysis and the abilities of designers to identify the main technical and physical contradictions in the inventive situation. These tasks are more complex and hence more time consuming in the case of interdisciplinary systems. Considering a mechatronic product as a system resulting from the integration of different technologies, the problem definition reveals two kinds of contradictions: 1) the mono-disciplinary contradictions within a homogenous sub-system, e.g., only mechanical or only electrical; 2) the interdisciplinary contradictions resulting from the interaction of the mechatronic sub-systems (mechanics, electrics, control and software).

This paper presents a TRIZ-based approach for a fast and systematic problem definition and contradiction identification, which could be useful both for engineers and students facing mechatronic problems. It also proposes some useful problem formulation techniques such as the System Circle Diagram, the enhancement of System Operator with the Evolution Patterns, the extension of MATChEM-IB operator with Information field and Human Interactions, as well as the Cause-Effect-Matrix.

This paper deals with the (early) stages of problem analysis of complex technical problems of 'mechatronic systems', where different technologies such as mechanics, electrics, control, and software are integrated.  Various TRIZ tools and others relevant at this stage are reviewed briefly.  Then the Authors propose the following five-step procedure (Note: Methods in ( ) are optional):



Information revealed

Initial situation


Fuzzy Inventive Situation:  need, disadvantage or negative effect is known but not analyzed.

Step 1

Component Analysis  -->
(System Operator: 9 windows method)

--> All essential components (sub-system) of the mechatronic system

Step 2

Circle System Diagram -->
(Conflicting Pairs Matrix)

--> All possible critical interactions between system components

Step 3

Essential Functional Analysis -->
(Clarification of the Step 2)

--> Positive effects or useful functions (P) and Negative effects or undesired properties (N)

Step 4

Identification of key contradictions <--
(Ranking of Contradictions)

<-- Combinations of positive and negative effects (P+N) within and between sub-systems

(Step 5)

(Control by use of Cause-Effect Matrix (CEM))
(Control by use of RCA+ (Root Conflict Analysis +)
  or CECA (Cause-Effect-Chain-Analysis))

The CEM (Cause-Effect Matrix) method (in the optional step 5) was proposed by the same authors.  It is illustrated in their Table 6 as follows (Note (TN, Apr. 1, 2017): The table is taken from the paper and is temporarily blocked in order to get the copyrighters' permissions)


A2.  How to Generate Simple Model Solutions Systematically from Function Analysis Diagram
Min-Gyu Lee (Lappeenranta Univ. of Tech., Finland; QM&E Innovation, South Korea)   

This is an excellent work for improving the usage of Functional Analysis (FA) diagram by slightly extending its representations and by introducing simple and systematic ways for generating model solutions (or solution ideas/directions).  The paper is neatly written to show the theory with a case study, and the slides explain the background of the work also.  I will quote here the Abstract written by the Author:

Function Analysis (FA) and Cause Effect Chain Analysis are among the most important and central tools in analysis phase of a TRIZ based inventive problem solving project. FA is useful for understanding the technical system and its problems. But the process of generating ideas directly from FA has not been so obvious or convenient for many TRIZ users – except for the cases of using FA together with the methods of trimming or Function Oriented Search.

The goal of this study is to provide a new, more convenient and systematic method of generating ideas directly from FA diagram. This goal is accomplished by connecting FA with a set of simple Model Solutions extracted from Inventive Standards.
The process of using this new method, named Function Analysis Plus (FA+), can be summarized as follows.
1. Draw the As-Is FA Diagram or FA+ diagram (which can represent the causality, different times or occasions)
2. Select an unsatisfactory action and classify it as one of the 2 Model Problems. Select feasible ones from the 2 or 5 Model Solutions for it considering the constraints.
3. Repeat step 2 for all the important unsatisfactory actions.
4. Develop each feasible Model Solutions into one or more concrete ideas by identifying suitable substance field resources and/or their needed properties.
The process of using this method and its usefulness is demonstrated with a case study.

The Author explains the insufficiency in the current Functional Analysis method by using a Cause-Effect Chain Analysis (CECA) diagram in his own way of extension (i.e., CECA+) as follows:

The clouds in blue shows possible directions of improvement, which the Author actually achieved in the present paper. 

Author's improvements in the ways of representation of FA diagrams (into FA+ diagrams) and in the theoretical development of generating (and representing) Model Solutions (or solution directions) and Ideas (or conceptual solutions) are too rich to summarize in this review.  So I would like to quote two slides from the Author's case study.

The case study deals with a Indoor Golf Driving Range, whose steel trust has collapsed due to heavy snow stacked on the roof net in winter.  How to make such a driving range safe from heavy snow?  Step 1 in the proposed procedure is to draw an FA+ diagram (i.e., extended-FA diagram) of the initial problem situation.  The following slide shows the As-Is FA+ diagram with some explanations of improved ways of representations.

Ordinary conventions of drawing FA diagram are followed in drawing the FA+ diagram.   Arrows with black solid line stands for useful functions, with black broken line for insufficient ones, with black thick line for excessive ones, and with red thick line (with a hollow triangle head) for harmful ones, etc.  In the upper left corner of the slide, the way of representing for the transformation of substance in time is illustrated.  A key phenomenon of this case is that 'Falling snow' becomes 'Stacked snow'.  In the upper right explains that the causal chain of functions is represented by two functional arrows meeting head to tail.   An example of such a causal chain is seen in the sequence of 'Stacked snow presses Roof Net', 'Roof Net pulls Wall Net', and 'Wall Net presses Steel Truss' (and 'Steel Truss becomes Collapsed Steel Truss').

Then Step 2 (and Step 3) is to select the unsatisfactory functions and to find Model Solutions corresponding to the types of Model Problem (in a similar sense of Su-Field Model classification).  The following figure summarizes the result.  First the harmful function 'Roof Net catches Falling Snow' is selected (because it initiates the whole problem).  The X-element (A) in the cloud represents something (in the sense of Altshuller's X-element) getting involved in the Model Solution.  In this case (of the type S1 -- Harmful action --> S2), possible Model Solutions are 'modify Roof Net', 'replace Roof Net', 'mediate between Roof Net and Falling Snow', and 'add field between Roof Net and Falling Snow'.  Similarly, unsatisfactory functions are dealt with in the order of (B), (C), (D), etc. as shown in the figure.


These Model Solutions mean solution directions in an abstract level (i.e., 'Ideas for a new system' in Box 4 of Nakagawa's Six-Box Scheme).  Then in Step 4 of the Author's procedure, by identifying suitable substance field resources and/or their needed properties, the Model Solutions need to be turned into concrete Ideas (i.e., 'Conceptual Solutions' in Box 5 of Six-Box Scheme).   For example, (A) 'modify Roof Net' can be embodied by the Idea "modify the Horizontal Roof Net into Many small Vertical Roof Nets that can block Golf Ball but do not catch Falling Snow to stack.  Many more concrete Ideas are generated by use of the Model Solutions shown in the figure.

The Author says the FA+ diagrams and the procedure proposed here have been found very productive for engineers at level 2-3 of MATRIZ and for TRIZ experts. 

*** The representations of FA+ diagrams are clear and meaningful, I admire.  The theoretical treatment of finding Model Solutions corresponding various types of Problem Models is also clear and easy to understand.  The Author in the present paper developed this theory by focusing on the Functional Analysis and adapting (after simplification of) the Inventive Standards by Altshuller.  I recall that the theoretical treatment developed by Davide Russo and Stefano Duci (2013) seems to be very similar even though they approached from the opposite direction, i.e., reorganizing the Altshuller's Inventive Standards by use of FA representation in place of the Su-Field Model.   I feel that the present FA+ approach is more useful than Russo-Duci's approach, so I would like to suggest the findings by Russo & Duci should better be absorbed in the present FA+ approach. 


A3.  TRIZ-based approach for process intensification and problem solving in process engineering: concepts and research agenda
Didier Casner, Pavel Livotov, Mas’udah Mas’udah, Patricia Kely da Silva (Offenburg Univ., Germany)

I would like to quote the Authors' Abstract:

Process engineering (PE) focuses on the design, operation, control and optimization of chemical, physical and biological processes and has applications in many industries. Process intensification (PI) is the key development approach in the modern process engineering. The theory of inventive problem solving (TRIZ) is today considered as the most comprehensive and systematically organized invention knowledge and creative thinking methodology.

This paper analyses the opportunities of TRIZ application in PE and especially in combination with PI. In this context the paper outlines the major challenges for TRIZ application in PE, conceptualizes a possible TRIZ-based approach for process intensification and problem solving in PE, and defines the corresponding research agenda.

It also presents the results of the original empirical innovation research in the field of solid handling in the ceramic industry, demonstrates a method for identification and prediction of contradictions and introduces the concept of the probability of contradiction occurrence. Additionally, it describes a technique of process mapping that is based on the function and multi-screen analysis of the processes. This technique is illustrated by a case study dealing with granulation process. The research work presented in this paper is a part of the European project “Intensified by Design® platform for the intensification of processes involving solids handling”.

For evaluating the possibilities of TRIZ application in Process Engineering, the Authors analyzed international patents in the field of solid handling in ceramic industry.   They used 100 selected patents which were applied between 2008 and 2015.  The analysis demonstrates that all inventions promise to solve several problems in PE but also generate negative side effects (or secondary problems). The Authors categorized the initial problems solved by the patents and also the secondary problems. The bar graph shown in the right illustrates the frequencies of such initial and secondary problems appearing in the 100 patents. (Note (TN, Apr. 1, 2017): The figure is taken from the paper and is temporarily blocked in order to get the copyrighters' permissions.)  It is noted that top 3 initially solved problems are categorized to be Quality of product, High costs, and Environment concerns, while the top 3 new secondary problems are High costs, Environmental concerns, and Complexity of equipment or methods.

*** The Authors give a thorough survey of applications of TRIZ to Process Engineering, but the TRIZ application needs to be explored much in this field in future.



A4.  Method of time-dependent TRIZ function ranking
Nikolai Efimov-Soini, Leonid Chechurin, Ivan Renev, Kalle Elfvengren (Lappenranta Univ. of Tech., Finland)

The Authors' abstract is quoted here:

The article presents a TRIZ dynamic function modelling approach. The authors suggest a method for the time-depended function ranking. It has been defined by the snapshots set analyses that characterizes the different system states. This method enables users to find the new options for the system trimming. The new ranking method is compared by several traditional methods. The approach can be used in the CAD software for automatic and semi-automatic simplification and optimization.

The paper aims at evaluating the significance (or rather insignificance) of various functions in a system changing its modes depending on time, and at using the evaluation for deciding the candidate functions (and components) to be trimmed for improving the system.  Since the Authors intend to use this evaluation method in automated CAD software in future, they have developed a formal algorithm for the evaluation. 

It has three bases: 
(1) The modes of operations of the system are divided into (an appropriate number of) time zones, and are represented with snapshots of Functional Diagrams. 
(2) The significance of functions in each snapshot is evaluated with the criteria shown in the right. 
(3) Overall significance of functions is obtained as the time-length weighted average for the snapshots.



A5.  Tech-Finder: a Dynamic Pointer to Effects
Davide Russo (Univ. of Bergamo, Italy) , Tiziano Montecchi (Bigflo srl, Italy), Antonio Caputi (Univ. of Bergamo, Italy) 

The Authors' Abstract is quoted here first:

The dynamic pointer to effect is an IR tool that searches for a scientific effect capable of providing the required function. At difference from static pointers which are entirely pre-built databases, the dynamic type is based on the integration of a pre-built effects library with a semantic search engine that scans technical and scientific literature in order to suggest documents describing relevant effects to realize a certain function. As result, the search engine can use any function in form of a pair verb-object, where the relations between functions and effects are always updated with the updating of the literature and the suggested list of effects is always tailored only on the specific function of the user, avoiding huge lists that make the tool unusable for low precision. The key aspect of the dynamic database is that recall and precision problems can be decoupled, in fact, recall depends on the completeness of effect library and the expansion of the query, while precision is affected by the IR algorithms of the search engine.

The present article presents a comparison of the most representative pointers to effects (developed by Altshuller and later) together with an analysis of the open problems and main limitations of these tools shown on three case studies selected in order to bring out the main limitations of effects databases.

Tech-Finder is a software tool recently developed by the Authors in collaboration of Bigflo and University of Bergamo.  It is a new type of software extending the TRIZ Effects database, for searching (physical and other) effects for achieving a desired function.  Tech-Finder implements a dynamical-pointer search engine for a new (Physical) Effects database, as reported last year at ETRIA TFC2015 . A static-pointer DB, on one hand, has a pre-set list of (a large number of) links to access the body of DB and hence the user's queries are limited to the pre-set links.  A dynamic-pointer DB, on the other hand, can convert user's query into multiple relevant/meaningful queries which are accessible to the body of DB. Thus it intends to improve the recall (i.e., to find relevant items as much as possible) and the precision (i.e., not to pick up irrelevant items or noise). 

The present paper has made critical comparisons of 4 existent + present Effects DB software by using 3 case studies of queries.  The software selected are listed as follows:

(a) Altshuller's DB (extended and published by TRIZ Korea, openly accessible without charge at ) (Note: This site is not accessible due to some network error (Mar. 12, Mar. 26, 2017))

(b) Tech-Optimizer 3.0 (A part of Goldfire Innovator by Invention Machine, 1999-2010; Goldfire Innovator is a commercial product; See Nakagawa's detailed explanation (1999) openly accessible in this Web site: )

"Software Tools for TRIZ -- Mechanism, Usage, and Methodology Learning -- Invention Machine's TechOptimizer Pro Version 2.5", Toru Nakagawa, (Originally in Japanese, Feb. 1998; Posted in English, Feb. 1999)  --- I personally thank the Authors for referring my old article, which was written in 50-60 pages for the beginners to learn TRIZ itself by learning this TRIZ software.

(c) Oxford Creativity's Effects Database (Developed and published by Oxford Creativity, openly accessible without charge at , details of effects are linked to Wikipedia.)

(d) Production Inspiration (Developed and published by AULIVE (Simon Dewulf, now in Australia), openly accessible without charge at  )

(e) Tech-Finder (Developed by BigFLO in collaboration of Univ. of Bergamo; commercially available soon; )


Altshuller DB/ (TRIZ Korea)

Tech-Optimizer 3.0

Oxford Creativity



DB type


static  (dynamic in Goldfire)




Number of Effects

130 (approx)/(141)



300 (estimated)


Number of query (function and attribute search)

30 / (51)
(general actions * 3 objects)


(function mode + parameter mode)

(37 functions * 4 objects)


Number of relations

224 / (398)

6500 (estimated)


1000 (estimated)



For examining the behaviors of these software, Authors use 'Sterilize lens' (intending as contact lenses) as the first case study.  The results are shown in the following table, where I rearranged the rows (to put the 'query' row before the results).  

Pointers Comparison

(a) Altshuller

(b) Tech-Optimizer

(c) Oxford


(e) Tech-Finder


Destroy object: 11
Purify substance: 4

Clean solid substance: 30
Destroy substance: 22
Remove solid sub.: 11
Destroy tech. objects: 9
Remove molec. parts: 22
Remove particles: 32
Remove solid subst.: 57

Clean solid: 90
Purify solid: 27

Clean solid: 26

Sterilize lens: 22

Results (Relevant/Total)

4 / 15

9 / 173

13 / 96

6 / 26

18 / 22













Notes Many inappropriate effects, e.g., cutting by water, laser, mech., Coanda effect, etc.   Function mode has been used. 20 effects may be relevant even if hardly applicable to the lens field 3 irrelevant effects + 1 very general effect (thermal)

We should note the queries used in each software. In a static type DB, we need to select some in the preset list of queries.  In this example, 'Clean solid' seems to be close to our intention, but for expressing the nuance of 'kill bacteria' other (general) verbs, e.g. 'Destroy', 'Purify', 'Remove', are introduced.  The number of Effects found for each query is shown in the query row.  In the Results row, the total number of Effects found and the number of relevant ones are shown.  'Relevant or not' in this case was judged by using the Authors' survey of 1300 patent families obtained in the IPC patent class (A61L12:  Methods or apparatus for disinfecting or sterilizing contact lenses; Accessories therefor).  In these patents, Authors have identified manually 22 physical effects (3 mechanical, 1 acoustic, 4 thermal, 3 chemical, 4 electric, 1 magnetic, and 6 electromagnetic). 

'Recall' is the percentage of the number of physical effects found by the queries among the number of effects actually used in the patents.  Recall close to 100 % is desirable for the Effects DB software to suggest users possible applicable effects as much as possible.  Precision, on the other hand, is the percentage of the number of relevant effects (as already applied in some patents in the field in this case study) among the number of effects suggested by the software.  It is crucial for a searching tool to suggest many relevant answers, of high Recall and high Precision percentages.  Many answers with low Precision are bothersome with so much noises for users.  The above table has demonstrated a good result for the present Tech-Finder with a dynamic pointer method.

The Authors show the second case study, with the topic of 'Cut paper'.  The former software (a) to (d) can only provide queries like 'Separate solid', 'Change object size', 'Break down solid', etc. and do not make sensible results.  Their third case study is 'Decrease noise'.  The results of (a) to (d) are even more miserable.  (a) does not support any suitable query.  (b), (c) and (d) may allow the queries, e.g., 'Absorb mechanical and sound waves', 'Decrease sound', 'Absorb field', and 'Remove field'; most of the effects suggested describe the effects of the phenomena of sounds without explaining how to reduce it. 

*** This paper is very valuable in focusing the current problem in the Effects DB software, i.e., one of the strengths of TRIZ. So far TRIZ tool vendors, and the TRIZ community in general, tend to be proud of showing many physical effects, extraordinary and seldom-known, without mentioning on the practical applicability for users' cases.  Such noisy outputs may lose users' attention.  We wish the Authors to develop further an effective search engine for their Effects DBs of dynamic link system.


A6.  Statistical use of the TRIZ contradiction matrix, experimentation on a ball bearing technical issue
Elie Aupetitgendre, Laurent Varnoux (SKF France, France), Nicolas Maranzana (Arts et Métiers Paritech, France)

Here I cite the Authors' Abstract:

Altshuller’s Theory of inventive problem-solving (TRIZ) is recognized to have high potential for technical innovation generation, especially the contradiction matrix tool. But its application can be tricky. It is time-consuming, requires experience with specific methodologies and results are far from guaranteed.

These statements have led to a discussion on a simplified use of the contradiction matrix. Given that the matrix stems from the results of statistical analysis of the most common inventive principles used to solve given problems, one can consider a wider, more exhaustive application of its uses. The idea consists in identifying every important feature of a given system, and then measuring the occurrence frequency of inventive principles. This allows for a quicker understanding of which principles are most commonly used for a given set of features.

This method and its potential benefits have been experimented on with a practical study case: a ball bearing technical issue as part of the activities of a Development Office within the SKF organization.

This article proceeds in three main sections. A statement of the difficulties inherent to the use of the contradiction matrix will be done in the first part. Then propositions for new uses of this matrix will be established. Finally, case study results will be detailed to assess the potential of the investigated method.

The two methods proposed by the Authors may be illustrated simply with their 4 figures shown below.  (Note TN, Apr. 1, 2017): The 4 figures are taken from the paper and are temporarily blocked in order to get the copyrighters' permissions):


*** It is very unfortunate that the Authors, while discussing about TRIZ Contradiction Matrix, do not mention about completely modernized Contradiction Matrix, developed by Darrell Mann (et al.) since 2002.  The neglect of the modernized Matrix is actually widely spread in the 'traditional' TRIZ community.  For example, (Russian-based) International TRIZ Association (MATRIZ) teaches Altshuller's original matrix alone in the certification requirements at the first level, and many (almost all) newly published TRIZ textbooks include the Altshuller's Matrix (because Altshuller made it copyright free) without mentioning the modernized one.  This has caused most TRIZ users in the world being unfamiliar to the modernized Matrix.

The completely updated Contradiction Matrix by Darrell Mann (et al.) are reported in the followings.  (You may trace them well here in "TRIZ Home Page in Japan (THPJ)".):

[1] Updating the Contradiction Matrix, Darrell Mann, Simon Dewulf (CREAX), TRIZCON2003; THPJ, Apr. 16, 2003
[2] Comparing the Classical and New Contradiction Matrix: Part 2. Zooming In, Darrell Mann, TRIZ Journal, Jul. 2004
[3] "Matrix 2003" by Darrell Mann, Simon Dewulf, Boris Zlotin, and Alla Zusman -- Publication Announcement of the Japanese Edition and Q&A Documents for the English Edition; Toru Nakagawa, THPJ, Apr. 5, 2005
[4] Publication Announcement of the Revised Japanese Edition: Darrell Mann's "Hands-On Systematic Innovation with Matrix 2010" by CrePS Institute in the "TRIZ Practices and Benefits" series, Vol. (1A), Toru Nakagawa, THPJ, Feb. 16, 2014
[5] Publication Announcement of the Japanese Edition: Darrell Mann's "Matrix 2010: Re-updating the TRIZ Contradiction Matrix" by CrePS Institute in the "TRIZ Practices and Benefits" series, Vol. (2A), Toru Nakagawa, THPJ, Apr. 17, 2014.


Top of the page   Personal Report TFC2016 (Parent page) A. Methodology of TRIZ B. Integral Use of TRIZ with Relevant Methods C. Case Studies in Industries D. Promotion of TRIZ in Industries E. Usage of TRIZ in Education and in Academia F. Patent Studies G. Applications to Soft & Non-technical Areas   ETRIA Web site Japanese page


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Last updated on Jul. 18, 2017.     Access point:  Editor: