TRIZ Textbooks:  CID Course for Children, 3-1G2
Topic 2. Methods of Solving Contradictions
Planet of Unsolved Misteries:
Course of Creative Imagination Development (CID), 
3rd Grade, 1st Semester, Methodical Guide-Book
Natalia V. Rubina, 1999 [published in Russian]
English translation by Irina Dolina, Jun. 3, 2001
Technical Editing by Toru Nakagawa, Dec. 8, 2001
Posted in this "TRIZ Home Page in Japan" in English on Dec. 17, 2001 under the permission of the Author.
(C) N.V. Rubina, I. Dolina, and T. Nakagawa 2001

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Topic 2. Methods of Solving Contradictions

Lesson 1

1.  Warm up

(Card index to the CID lessons for the third grade).
2.  Homework
Considering the homework problem.
3.  Introduction to the lesson

Problem 3.
  1. Author:  Murashkowsky N. Y.
  2. Topic:      Methods.
  3. Content of the problem:  An Amazonian fish lives near the surface of the water and gets its food both under the water and over the water.  The one who sees clearly under the water doesn’t see as well in the air, and vice versa.  That is why sea-animals and land animals have eyes differently designed.  What eyes should an Amazonian fish have to see well both in the air and under the water?
  4. Solution:   -  ?
  5. Source of information:  “When I become a wizard.”

Problem 4.
  1. Author:   Klyastutis Usyavichus.
  2. Topic:      Methods.
  3. Content of the problem:  In order to catch insects in the spider’s web, the web’s threads should be sticky and invisible, transparent.  But the problem is: some kinds of the day spiders, because their webs are invisible, suffer from the birds flying by.  It is possible, of course, to make a web visible, but in this case, insects won’t get there.  What should be done?
  4. Solution:   - ?
  5. Source of information:

4.   Main topic

     Try to single out a method that can help to solve this problem.  Be careful, the problems are different but they are solved by the same method.  Give examples of systems, where one part possesses a property that is opposite to a poperty of the other part.

      In this way, comparing various inventions (an invention is a solved inventive problem), G. S. Altshuller worked out a whole system of methods of solving contradictions.  The methods and rules of solving problems composed Algorythm of Inventive Problem Solving (ARIZ).  ARIZ is a powerful instrument to stimulate thinking.  In the CID course for elementary school, we consider some methods and rules for creative problem solving and study to solve problems according to a certain scheme.

     “Technical systems emerge and develop naturally; hence the study of these regularities gives methods – i.e., tools for solving inventive problems. The scientific organization of inventive creativity differs in principle from the methods of psychological stimulation by the fact that it is founded on objective laws of technical development.  It was known since a long time ago that inventors use some methods of transforming the initial technical object: disassembling, assembling, inversion (“to make vice versa”) and so on.  Different authors have given lists of methods, but these lists were not complete, alongside with strong methods there were methods weak and out of date.  But the most important thing remained undecided: when and which method should be used?

     While working on ARIZ the patent database was systematically analyzed: the inventions were singled out and considered, the technical and physical contradictions they contained and typical methods of removing them were defined.  To make a table of using typical methods, about 40 thousands inventive descriptions were analyzed.

    Actually ARIZ organizes an inventor’s thinking as if one person had at his disposal the experiences of many generations of inventors.  And, what is very important is the fact that this experience is applied with talent.  A regular – even very experienced – inventor uses the solution method based on general analogy.  Namely, "this problem is similar to that old problem, so the solutions must be similar".  Whereas an ARIZ inventor sees deeper: "this problems has a certain physical contradiction, so the old problem’s solution can be used; even though it is not similar to the old problem on the surface, it contains the similar physical contradiction…"    An inventor, unfamiliar with this method, thinks that this is a case of powerful intuition…”
     “Theory and Practice of Solving Inventive Problems” edited by G. S. Altshuller. Gorky, 1976, pp.23-24.

     We have already realized that the methods and rules, worked out in TRIZ for technical problems, can be successfully used in any other sphere.  It is important to take into consideration the resources which are characteristic for the given system.

     The psychologists have proved convincingly that the things we hear are often forgotten, and the things we see are remembered better, whereas what we do by ourselves can be understood and felt truly deeply.  "The memory retains (as other things being equal) up to 90% of what a person do, up to 50% of what he sees and only 10% of what he hears about.” (R. M. Granovskaya.  Elements of Practical Psychology, St-Petersburg, Publishing House “Svet”, 1997, p.548).  That is why at the first lesson devoted to the topic “Methods of Solving Contradictions”,  it is necessary to arrange the work in such a way that during the game the children could single out the methods which help them to find solutions to the problems.  In order to build the house for three little pigs, it is convenient to use the empty matchboxes or the blocs.  Of course, it is more interesting to work in groups and then to compare the results.  For that purpose it is possible to invite “experts” – Colabo, Emil, and magician Deli-Davai.

     Nif-Nif, Naf-Naf and Nuf-Nuf started construction.
     "The house should be big in order to have space for games and entertainment", said Nif-Nif.
     "No, no", argued Naf-Naf, "the house should be small to hide us and to give us privacy."

     What did Nuf-Nuf suggest?

     Draw your solution.

     "We have to paint the walls white and we will be able to see our house from far away", said Nif-Nif.
     "Let’s paint the walls black and in winter against the snow background we’ll see our house clearly", argued Naf-Naf.
     "Don’t hurry", said Nuf-Nuf, "let’s do the following…"

     What did Nuf-Nuf suggest?

     Draw your solution.

     Draw your solution.
     "The house should be light, to be easily built".
     "The house should be heavy, to be solid against the wind"
     In this situation Nuf-Nuf found the way out.

     What did he suggest?

     Draw your solution.
     "The house should be high to give a good view from the roof", said Nif-Nif.
     "The house should be low, to be easy to climb the roof", argued Naf-Naf.
     "We’ll make all that", answered Nuf-Nuf.

What will you suggest?

    "I like everything round.  I want our house to be round",said Nif-Nif.
     "I like everything square, I want our house to be square", argued Naf-Naf.
     "Nothing can be easier", answered Nuf-Nuf.

     How to do it?

     Draw your solution.

7.  Sum up

     Each of these contradiction is a basis for a problem.  Try to articulate the problems, making up a small plot to each contradiction.

Lesson 2

1.  Warm up.

(Card index to the CID lesson for the third grade.)
2. Homework.
Problems on contradictions.
3. Introduction in the lesson

Problem 4.
  1. Author:
  2. Topic.      Methods.
  3. Content of the problem:  It is the Zoo.  It is necessary to measure all the snakes to within 1 centimeter.  The person responsible for the snakes is sick.  What to do?
  4. Solution:   - ?
  5. Source of information:   M. S. Rubin’s Card index.

Problem 5.
  1. Author:      Altshuller, G. S.
  2. Topic:         Methods.
  3. Content of the problem:  In the open railway platforms the pine logs were being loaded.  The controllers were measuring the diameter of each log in order to calculate the volume of all logs.  The work proceeded slowly, the controllers were going to delay the train to finish the process of measuring...  And suddenly the Inventor appeared.  "I have got an idea!" he said.  "The train will leave in 5 minutes.  Take…"   What did he suggest?
  4. Solution:  - ?
  5. Source of information: “And Suddenly the Inventor Appeared.”

4.  Main topic

     What method is needed for solving this problem?.

     Let’s consider the problem about the logs’ measuring.
     “When this problem was published in “Pioneer Truth”, the correct answers were received from the kids who had learned that in order to solve an inventing problem one has to remove a contradiction.  Here are some unsuccessful answers:
     A team of 300-500 workers should  measure the logs;
     To determine by eye the medium diameter of a log and calculate how many logs there were;
     To make cuts of all the logs and without haste to measure the diameter, when the train leaves…
     If you win in exactness you will pay for a failure in costs and complicity.  And vice versa: if you prefer simplicity (e.g., measuring by eye), you’ll have to waive the exactness.  This technical contradiction hides a physical contradiction: the train must leave – and the train must stay.  It is necessary to make the train leave and at the same time to let it stay…
     Here we have approached an inventor’s method: if it is difficult to measure an object, you have to get a copy of this object and measure it. For a few minutes it is possible to make a photo of the logs from the open side of a wagon.  Then you have to use a ruler to measure a scale.  And the train may go: all the measurements will be done by the pictures.
     It is interesting that the first to present this idea was Alexander Dumas, the author of “Three musketeers”.  In his novel “Ten years after”, there is a chapter where Portos orders a new suit.  Portos didn’t allow anybody touch him, even while taking his measures.  The way out was found by a playwright Molier, who was there by chance.  Molier led Portos to the mirror and took his measures from the musketeer’s reflection...”
      G. Altov, “And Suddenly the Inventor Appeared”, Moscow, “Detskaya literatura”, 1989, p. 92-93.

     Thus, Methods of Solving Contradictions:

1.  Separating the contradictory properties in space.

2.  Separating the contradictory properties in time.

3.  Separating the contradictory properties between a system and sub-systems.

4.  Separating the contradictory properties between a system and a super-system.

5.  Separating the contradictory properties between a system and an anti-system.

     Find your examples for each method of solving contradictions.

7.  Sum up

     “There are many witty methods, we can talk and talk about them.  But for your first encounter with a city it is enough to see several typical buildings, go along several typical streets and then to look at a general plan.
     Now you know some laws of technical systems development, and you know some methods of solving contradictions.  Of course, this is only a district in a city of TRIZ.  But this is a typical district.  Let’s look at the general plan and see how it looks in the whole system”.
     G. Altov, “And Suddenly the Inventor Appeared", Moscow, “Detskaya literatura”, 1989, p.92-93.

     Write down on the cards in the end of the workbook the examples of using the methods of solving contradictions.
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