TRIZ Textbooks:  CID Course for Children, 3-1G3
Topic 3.  Scheme of Solving Problems
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 3.  Scheme of Solving Problems
1.  Warm up
(Card index to the CID lessons for the third grade.)
2.  Homework
The examples of using the methods of solving contradictions.
3.  Introduction to the lesson

Problem 6.
  1. Author:   Rubin, M. S.
  2. Topic:      Scheme of solving problems.
  3. Content of the problem:  In the ancient times the major advantage of the Scythian tribes in a fight were the horses.  However, using them in a bow attack turned to be very difficult.  The Scythians approached the enemy, raised their bows and arrows and, naturally, let the reins free.  At this moment the horses rushed back.  The horsemen didn’t have time to shoot and, moreover, their backs were turned to the enemies.   What should the Scythians do?
  4. Solution:   - ?
  5. Source of information:  An article “By Myself, By Herself, By Itself.”

     This problem is not an easy one.  For solving it, we have to use all methods of solving problems we know.  We all know very well that a system is capable of carrying out more functions than each of its parts, and possesses more advanced properties.  The scheme of solving problems is a system that consists of different methods of solving problems.  We know what interesting results are produced by using each of the methods, and how they help us handle the most complicated problems.  We are going to study today the possibilities that the scheme of solving problems gives us.

     The work on the CID course is a preparation for studying the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ).  Generally, G. S. Altshuller’s theory reflects multi-sided world of creativity and includes the following sections:
CID – creative imagination development;
ARIZ – algorythm of inventive problem solving;
LTSD- laws of evolution of technical systems;
TRIZ – theory of inventive problem solving;
LSCP – life strategy of a creative personality;
TCPD – theory of creative personality development

     All these directions of the theory are united by a research approach to studying such a complicated sphere of social life as creation.

     The aim of the classes on creative imagination development (CID), based on studying and using the strong devices of creative thinking, worked out in the theory of G. S. Altshuller, is to develop children’s creative thinking.  “The world where we live is complicated.  And if we want to perceive and transform it, our thinking should reflect this world correctly.  In our mind we must have a full replica of the complicated, dynamic, and dialectically developing world.  (“Theory and Practice of Solving Inventive Problems” edited by G. S. Altshuller, Gorky, 1976, p.184.)

     The scheme of solving problems is a small algorythm, which is quite easy to understand for third grade students.  However, the scheme includes strong devices of creative thinking development (contradictions and IFR methods).  The work in accordance with the scheme organizes the child’s creative research.

     “ARIZ, first of all, is an instrument for solving certain inventive problems.  But each instrument, being applied regularly for a long time, has a certain influence on a person who uses this instrument.  The same influence comes from ARIZ: if it is used regularly and seriously, a new mode of thinking is being elaborated gradually.”  (“Theory and Practice of Solving Inventive Problems” edited by G. S. Altshuller, Gorky, 1976, p. 182.)

     These words may be referred to the Scheme of Solving Problems, studied at the CID lessons.

     Scheme of Solving Problems:

If                ________________________________________________
Then  (+)  ________________________________________________
But  ()     ________________________________________________

Articulate the ideal solution:

Find the opposite properties:
     _______________should be ____________, in order to __________
                           and should be ____________, in order to __________.

Which resources are there for the solution of this problem?

 [Translation Note (Nakagawa, Dec. 15, 2001):  The following differences are consistently noticed:
In Guide Book (1999):  Articulate the ideal solution, and then find the opposite properties.
In Workbook (1998):  Find the opposite properties, and then articulate the ideal solution.]

     Here we solve the problem about the Scythians.
     The Scythians didn’t have time to think, and the point was that the life of the soldiers depended on the correct solution.  I don’t know exactly how the Scythians were thinking.  We have a reliable assistant – the scheme of solving problems.

 If                 a horseman holds the reins and handles his horse,
 Then (+)    he moves in the right direction and is face to face with his enemy,
 But  (–)      in this case he can’t use his bow.

If                  a horseman lets the reins off and doesn’t handle his horse,
Then (+)     he can use his bow,
But  (–)       his horse chooses by itself the direction to go and the horseman turns his back to his enemy.

     While solving this problem, we choose the second contradiction because the main point in a bow attack is not running away but shooting the enemy.
IFR (Ideal Final Result):   the horseman is face to face with an enemy, but the horse is running away.
     This seems unatainable.  IFR is a dream. To solve this problem we have to use the natural behavior of a horse.
A horseman has to face the enemy,
in order to shoot at the enemy from his bow,
and he shouldn’t face the enemy,
in order to be safe from arrows.

Resources:   behavior of a horse, behavior of a man.

Method of solving contradictions:    a method “upside down”.

     From the contradiction articulated above it is seen that a horseman and his horse should possess opposite properties.  In other words, one part of the system should possess property A, while the other part property anti-A.
Solution:   The men with the bows sat on the horses “back to front”.  A group of horsemen directed the horses at an angle towards the enemies.  When they reached the line where their arrows could hit the enemies, their horses were turned back. The horsemen were turned face to the enemies with their hands free to shoot.  The Scythians’ attacks were so fast that it was practically impossible to fight back.

     “At first stages of teaching one has to face contradictions: the teacher has to use simple problems that can be solved even without a method by a simple selection of variants (such as “what if we do like that?”).   On no account solve even the easiest problems by choosing variants.  It means wasting your time.  The sense of this or that problem is not in guessing its answer.  The sense of the classes is in mastering the skills of creative solutions.  The skills, acquired while solving simple problems, will then be needed for solving the difficult problems that can not be solved by choosing variants.”  (“Theory and Practice of Solving Inventive Problems” edited by G. S. Altshuller. Gorky, 1976, p.72)

     Let’s consider one more problem.  Who will try to work at the blackboard?

Problem 7.

  1. Author:     Altshuller, G. S.
  2. Topic:        The scheme of solving problems.
  3. Content of the problem:   A ship was being loaded in the port.  A huge crane was putting saucers with sacks into the open space of the ship.  It was raining heavily, and the water was getting inside the hold.  “It can’t be helped", the stevedores sighed, "we can neither close the hold during loading, nor put up a roof”.   And at this point the inventor appeared.  “A special roof is needed here”, he said, "to protect from the rain and to let the cargo come easily…”  What kind of roof did the inventor offered?
  4. Solution:    - ?
  5. Source of information:   “And Suddenly the Inventor Arrived”.
If                   we put a roof over the hold,
Then  (+)     the water won’t get into the hold,
But  (–)        it is impossible to lower the cargo.

IFR:             the lid by itself lets the cargo inside and stops the water.

Find opposite properties:
                      The lid should be solid in order to stop the water,
                            and should not be solid in order to let the cargo inside.
What resources we have in order to solve this problem:
                      The material for the lid,  the cargo’s weight.
Method of solving a contradiction:
                      Separating the contradictory properties in time.

     “Thousands of ships stay in the port.  Hundred thousands of people work under the sun, the rain, the snow.  The roof over the holds is needed.  It is not difficult to devise it.  The same problem emerged long time ago: to stop draughts in a workshop, the doors must be closed.  But to let the loading vehicles in, the doors must be opened.  The contradiction was removed very easily: the door folds were made of solid rubber.  A loading car can pass freely – the folds open, then they close by themselves.  The hold on a ship is wider than the plant’s doors.  But the folds of the roof can be made pneumatic – they will stand over the hold as a two-fold roof.  The cargo will easily slide apart these folds and lower inside.”  (“Theory and Practice of Solving Inventive Problems” edited by G. S. Altshuller, Gorky, 1976, p.76.)

7.  Sum up

Consider the problem according to the scheme of solving problems..

  1. Author:       Altshuller, G. S.
  2. Topic:           Scheme of solving problems.
  3. Content of the problem.     Imagine that you have to squeeze a spiral spring of 10 cm in length and 2 cm in diameter.  Put it flat between the pages of a book and close it in such a way that the spring remained squeezed.  You can squeeze the spring with two fingers.  But then you will have to unclasp your fingers, otherwise you won’t close the book.  The spring will be released…   This situation occurred when the engineers were making some device.  They had to squeeze a spring, put it inside and close the lid.  How to do it without releasing the string?
  4. Solution:   – ?
  5. Source of information:  “And Suddenly the Inventor Appeared.
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