|TRIZ Paper: Japan TRIZ Symposium 2010 Keynote|
|General Theory on Powerful Thinking (OTSM):
Digest of Evolution, Theoretical Background, Tools for Practice and Some Domain of Application
|Nikolai Khomenko (Insight Technologies Lab, Canada)|
|The Sixth TRIZ Symposium in Japan, Held by Japan TRIZ Society on Sept. 9-11, 2010 at Kanagawa Institute of Technology, Atsugi, Kanagawa, Japan|
|Introduction by Toru Nakagawa (Osaka Gakuin Univ.), Nov. 28 , 2010|
|[Posted on Sept 19, 2011]|
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Editor's Note (Toru Nakagawa, Sept. 11, 2011)
This paper was presented by Nikolai Khomenko a year ago as one of the Keynote Lectures at the Sixth TRIZ Symposium in Japan, 2010, which was held by 'Japan TRIZ Society, NPO'. This is a compact overview of the Author's life work, OTSM. Presentation slides are posted in PDF both in English and in Japanese translation (by Shinsuke Kurosawa), in the Official Site of Japan TRIZ Society and again here in this Web site for wider penetration.
Last November I posted an introduction to this lecture as a part of my Personal Report of the Symposium. The excerpt is posted here again in English. I wish my introduction may be of some help for you to understand the essence of the lecture.
As announced in a separate page , an Award was presented during the Symposium to Dr. Nikolai Khomenko by the "TRIZ Home Page in Japan" Foundation for the appreciation of his contributions and services to TRIZ and OTSM for these many years.
To our great sorrow Dr. Khomenko passed away on March 27, 2011. He was sick in the beginning of August last year, we were informed, but he visited Japan and delivered a one-day Seminar and this Keynote Lecture for us in our TRIZ Symposium energetically. We did not realize he was so sick. We miss him much. But fortunately he left us this Keynote Lecture and one-day Seminar, and gave us the permission of publicizing the documents widely. I apologize for my delay in posting. I wish the work of Late Dr. Nikolai Khomenko understood widely through these documents.
See a separate page on Khomenko's One-day Seminar and his slides in PDF .
General Theory on Powerful Thinking (OTSM):
Digest of Evolution, Theoretical Background, Tools for Practice
and Some Domain of Application.
Nikolai Khomenko (Insight Technologies Lab, Canada)
OTSM is a Russian acronym proposed by Genrich Altshuller to describe the next evolution of Classical TRIZ. The acronym can be translated into English as the “General Theory on Powerful Thinking” Mr. Altshuller proposed the idea to transition from Classical TRIZ to OTSM in the mid 1970‘s. Some background ideas for this transition were developed in the 1980‘s, initiating the formal development of OTSM. Altshuller considered Classical TRIZ had matured as a theory about creating tools for solving technical creative (non-typical) problems. When people began using a TRIZ-based toolbox for non-technical applications, Altshuller posed the question: “How should TRIZ be transformed from a theory for solving technical problems into a domain-free theory for solving complex generic problems?” In this paper the results of 25 years of OTSM research are summarized with proposed directions for further development.
To understand OTSM (pronounced as Ti- eS- eM) and why Genrich Altshuller proposed such a transition from Classical TRIZ, consider at least three dimensions of Altshuller’s schema for powerful thinking: the Time Dimension, the system Level (Hierarchy) Dimension and the Anti-System Dimension. Specifically, we consider the historical evolution (in time) of a structure (system levels of OTSM-TRIZ) and related problems where OTSM-TRIZ based tools can be used effectively and efficiently.
In this context, the evolution of OTSM-TRIZ proceeded as follows: simple methodology:
- set of methods
- ARIZ as an algorithm that integrated these methods into a unified tool for solving non-typical problems
- TRIZ as a theory for creating effective tools for solving non-typical problems
- OTSM – the General Theory on Powerful Thinking and creating domain-free tools for managing complex non-typical interdisciplinary issues
- First generation of OTSM-based domain-free tools for solving problems including a fractal model of a problem solving process and four main OTSM technologies: New Problem Technology; Typical Solution Technology; Contradiction Technology; Problem Flow Technology.
- Second Generation of OTSM-based toolbox including a Problem Flow Networks (PFN) approach for managing large networks of interdisciplinary issues.
In this paper we deal with questions such as:
- Why did TRIZ evolve to OTSM?
- What factors drove the development of the OTSM-TRIZ methodology and tools?
To answer these questions we compare Altshuller’s TRIZ (Classical TRIZ) and OTSM as two applied scientific theories and consider their structure, theoretical background, and main tools of practice.
OTSM has a structure of postulates that clarify and detail the three postulates of Classical TRIZ formulated by Altshuller. One of most important theoretical developments is OTSM’s fractal model of a problem solving process. The domain-free OTSM tools, which were generated from the fractal model of a problem solving process.
In comparing OTSM and TRIZ-based toolboxes and relationships between tools, we consider:
- Why linear and non-linear educational technologies were developed such as Fairy Tales (used by G. Altshuller) and the Yes-No Game (used by N. Khomenko, T. Sidorchuk).
- Can a computer function as a problem-solving mentor? Some lessons learned from 1986, when a computer was used to mentor the application of ARIZ will be shared.
This paper will also discuss how OTSM-based tools are complementary to many other approaches and can be easy integrated with other tools into a unified system. For this we will introduce both an OTSM ENV model and an Advanced Schema on Powerful thinking.
 Presentation Slides of the Keynote Lecture in PDF
Presentation Slides in English in PDF (70 slides, 597 KB)
Presentation Slides in Japanese in PDF (70 slides, 838 KB) (Japanese translation by Shinsuke Kurosawa)
 Khomenko's One-day Seminar and his Presentation Slides in PDF
Khomenko's OTSM-TRIZ Introductory Seminar
Presentation Slides in PDF (134 slides, 1.5 MB)
 Introduction to the Presentation (by Nakagawa)
Personal Report of The Sixth TRIZ Symposium in Japan, 2010, Part A
by Toru Nakagawa (Osaka Gakuin University),
Posted on Nov. 28 , 2010 in "TRIZ Home Page in Japan"
Nikolai Khomenko (Insight Technologies Lab, Canada) gave the second Keynote Lecture on the 3rd day morning. He is TRIZ Master certified by Mr. Genrich Altshuller. His lecture title was "General Theory on Powerful Thinking (OTSM): Digest of Evolution, Theoretical Background, Tools for Practice and Some Domain of Application." I will quote his Abstract first:
OTSM is a Russian acronym proposed by Genrich Altshuller to describe the next evolution of Classical TRIZ. The acronym can be translated into English as the “General Theory on Powerful Thinking”. Mr. Altshuller proposed the idea to transition from Classical TRIZ to OTSM in the mid 1970‘s. Some background ideas for this transition were developed in the 1980‘s, initiating the formal development of OTSM. Altshuller considered Classical TRIZ had matured as a theory about creating tools for solving technical creative (non-typical) problems. When people began using a TRIZ-based toolbox for non-technical applications, Altshuller posed the question: “How should TRIZ be transformed from a theory for solving technical problems into a domain-free theory for solving complex generic problems?” In this paper the results of 25 years of OTSM research are summarized with proposed directions for further development.
This Keynote Lecture is very comprehensive. Since the time we sent the Keynote invitation to Nikolai Khomenko last January, he has been preparing for this lecture seriously. Our request is an overview of OTSM, assuming the audience have sufficient knowledge and experiences of TRIZ but none of OTSM. TRIZ is a big theory, and OTSM is even bigger in its scope. Thus he feels it very difficult to make a compact 80 minutes lecture of his 25-years research results. (In this situation we were happy to have held a one-day seminar on "Introduction to OTSM-TRIZ" by Nikolai Khomenko on the previous day of the Symposium, having about 24 participants.) The Keynote Lecture was highly abstract and advanced, and hence not so easy to understand for many audience, I am afraid. In this Personal Report, I will try to summarize his lecture by using about 25 slides from his original 70 ones.
At the occasion of the Symposium Reception, an Award of "TRIZ Home Page in Japan" Foundation was presented to Mr. Nikolai Khomenko for his contributions to TRIZ and OTSM for many years, as is described in a separate page . Please refer to Nikolai Khomenko's profile and his reference there.
The slide (right) explains first "What is OTSM?" OTSM is a Russian acronym having the meaning of "General Theory on Powerful Thinking". OTSM was originated by Genrich Altshuller in mid 1970s. He considered that Classical TRIZ had become matured as a theory about creating tools for solving non-typical problems in technology, and that it should be further transformed into a domain-free theory for creating tools on solving complex generic problems. In mid 1980s Altshuller developed some background ideas towards this direction and Nikolai Khomenko started the development of OTSM under his supervision.
The slide (right-below) shows the requirement for OTSM. It should be a domain-free tool, i.e. applicable to any field not limited to technologies. The tool should be able to present various kind of non-typical problems into canonical form, which can be solved with some proposed routine procedure.
The slide (below) demonstrates the evolution of TRIZ toward this direction, according to Nikolai Khomenko's unique understanding. Thus the whole lecture is to explain about the stages shown here. The stages are:
(a) Simple technique (1940s)
(b) Methodology: integration of several simple techniques (1950s)
(c) Algorithm: integration of several methodologies and other tools into a unified system (1960s)
(d) Classical TRIZ as a Theory about creating effective tools for solving non-typical problems (1970s)
(e) OTSM as a Theory about creating effective tools for managing complex interdisciplinary networks of contradictions (1980s-1990s)
(f) OTSM based Problem Flow Networks (PFN) approach to managing complex interdisciplinary networks of problematic situations, and less complex problems as well. (2000s)
(g) What next ?
He (and Altshuller) regard that the stages (a) to (c) are empirical stage of TRIZ evolution resulting in premature applied science whereas the stages after (d) are for forming (or developing) mature science with theoretical backgrounds.
|The slide (right) shows the Altshuller's standing point of (Classical) TRIZ as an applied scientific theory and discusses the necessary structure of an applied scientific theory. This structure is a summary of Altshuller's book of "TRIZ As An Exact Science" (1986). Some of the terms in this slide are not well introduced, unfortunately, in current world TRIZ community. They will be mentioned some more later, in the course of explaining about OTSM terms.|
Nikolai Khomenko starts to discuss about the target structure of OTSM along the framework shown in the previous slide.
(1) Key Problems: The slide (right) summarizes the Key Problems to be solved by the development of OTSM.
First we need to have theoretical background for creating domain-free tool that can activate human creative skills in order to solve various non-typical problems and to obtain appropriate solutions. The solutions need to be useful for practice, even though the set of rules in the tool are very generic. Thus the OTSM theoretical background (and the tool) should be useful for transforming fuzzy initial situation description into a precise description of appropriate satisfactory solutions.
(2) Axioms: As such a basis of theoretical background, Nikolai Khomenko lists up eight OTSM Axioms, as shown in the slide (right). He explains Axiom of Descriptions (Models) and Axiom of the core of any problem (Contradictions) in this lecture (and a few more in the OTSM Seminar), but not others due to the shortage of time.
The Axiom of Descriptions (or Models) seems to be most basic (see the slide below-left). Models are descriptions of the elements we are thinking about. For thinking process we use models of elements in place of elements themselves. Each model represents the elements just partially, and hence produce mental barriers and restrictions for our thinking. The cartoon in the slide (below-right) tells the partial nature of models (or perception) is the root causes of many disagreements and problems (in human society). This Axiom consequently warns us to overcome the mental inertia we have with our models of problems.
|The slide (right) explains the OTSM Axiom of the Core of our Problems. In a problem situation which needs innovative, non-typical thinking to solve, there are contradictions at the core of the problem. We (human) consider the effect of the problem situation negative (non-desirable). There is some objective law behind the Negative effect. Yet we subjectively desire some Positive effect by modifying the situation.|
(3) Main Models: Khomenko goes ahead to talk about the Main Models in OTSM (or OTSM-TRIZ).
The first Main Model is the Scheme of Powerful Thinking originated by Altshuller in the Classical TRIZ. Khomenko shows the slide (right) and says that this was the original, four-dimensional picture by Altshuller even though the two-dimensional scheme of System Operator is widely known. Hierarchy of systems (i.e., super-system, system, sub-system) and (historical) time are the two dimensions know lately. The third dimension is the life cycle of every system, as shown by the overlapping multiple S-curves representing growth by improvements. The fourth dimension is the Anti-systems that challenge the evolution of every system. The third and fourth dimensions were unfortunately not shown in the figure when the book of "TRIZ As the Exact Science" was published, Khomenko says. This Model is typically known as 'nine-box model/method' of the System Operator, but originally the dimensions of hierarch and time (and two more) are supposed to be infinite, without being limited by the three levels shown in this slide.
The second Model shown in the slide (right-middle) is the ENV (Element-Name-Value) Model. Each element (or entity, object) can be described by a number of features (or properties, attributes), and their lists of (possible) values. The slide (right) shows a simple example about a tomato, which can be characterized by color, shape, taste, etc. It is noticed that actually features often have some substructures, in a fractal manner (i.e., in a hierarchical and repetitive way).
When we apply this ENV representation to the Classical TRIZ System Operator, each element (or system) may be described as shown in the slide (below-left). Khomenko shows the corresponding ENV representation of the Advanced Schema of Powerful Thinking in OTSM (see the slide (below-right)). The four dimensions in the TRIZ System Operator are now regarded as a part of the 'Reality' features and new features like 'System of Goals of modeling' and 'Imagination' are added here.
(4) Problem Solving Tools: The fourth category is the tools for solving (non-typical) problems. Nikolai Khomenko shows the most general OTSM based tools in the two generations, as shown in the slide (right).
The first generation of OTSM is the era of 1980s-1990s, when OTSM is still a simple extension of Classical TRIZ and reflect much with the ideas established by Altshuller in the form of ARIZ-85-C. Khomenko evaluates that ARIZ-85-C started a new S-curve in the TRIZ theory. The second generation of OTSM is the era of 2000s, when the Problem Flow Networks (PFN) approach becomes the main tool.
The slide (right) demonstrates the structure of the tools in the first generation of OTSM. There are four technologies. 'New Problem' technology is to capture a problem. 'Typical Solutions' technology is mostly based on the Inventive Standards developed by Altshuller and the use of various TRIZ knowledge bases. 'Contradiction' technology is based on ARIZ-85-C for solving non-typical, inventive problems by use of the concept of Physical Contradictions. 'Problem Flow' technology represents the whole process of problem solving, starting from the initial problem to multiple partial solutions, to converged solutions, to further solutions of subsequent problems, and to final conceptual solutions. The whole process is based on ARIZ-85-C.
In the second generation, OTSM intends to deal with complex, interdisciplinary networks of problematic situations. Thus for representing networks of problems, OTSM use the Problem Flow Networks (PFN) diagram. The slide (right) demonstrate an example of such a PFN diagram. The purple blocks at the top are desirable goals, while green blocks stand for partial conceptual solutions and yellow ones for problems or problematic situations/facts. These blocks are connected with the lines to show the problem-solution relationships. The merit of the PFN diagram is its ability to show all these complex structures in the problem situations in a glance. For solving the complex problems, the PFN diagram is analyzed carefully and added with partial conceptual solutions step by step by using various tools to be discussed below.
The slide (right) shows an overall structure of OTSM-TRIZ problem solving with the black-box representation of the tools. Non-typical problem situation is handled (with OTSM-TRIZ tools) to obtain multiple partial solutions, first. Then they should be converged into a smaller number of satisfactory conceptual solutions. They need to be evaluated objectively and are further selected/enhanced into Prototype solutions and made into Implemented solutions. Feedbacks of solutions are applied in various steps, of course. The vertical broken line in the slide divides the stages of main contribution by OTSM-TRIZ in the left and by subject-matter and real world treatment in the right.
The following four slides show the black-box structure of four main tools of OTSM-TRIZ problem solving. (a) "Tongs" model (see slide upper-left) compares the description of the initial situation and that of a most desirable result and finds the barrier (or contradiction) that prevents from the achievement of a most desirable results, then the contradiction is solved by use of TRIZ separation principle. (b) "Exaggeration" model (see slide upper-right) is used for understanding positive or negative effects and contradictions better by step by step exaggeration of the situation. (c) The "Goldfish" method: [I do not know much about this method. TRIZ BOK by TRIZ Summit lists it up with a line of explanation: 'method of decomposition and synthesis of fantastic ideas'.] (d) The Network of Problems (NoP).
Khomenko discusses an interesting point in the problem solving process in OTSM (see slide (right)). He says that ARIZ-85-C has opened a new S-curve in the model of problem solving process, by better stimulating unconscious creative processes in our mind, even though it seems like a chaos at first look. OTSM follows this direction and has developed instruments to manage the Creative Chaos better. Fractal models in OTSM and the "OTSM Problem Flow Networks" approach are such instruments. At the bottom of the slide (right), he compares OTSM to an "Intellectual Lego" for managing our Creative Chaos and stimulate our creativity skills.
So far Nikolai Khomenko has been explaining about OTSM from theoretical/methodological viewpoints. Now in the slide (right), he introduces the practical aspects of OTSM tools.
He says OTSM has been tested successfully in a number of Korean companies (e.g., LG-Electronics, Samsung, Posco, Hundai) and European companies (e.g., Puegeot-Citroen, Airbus, EIFER, Visa, etc.).
He also lists up the domains where OTSM tools have been tested successfully. See the slide (right).
At the end of the Keynote Lecture, Nikolai Khomenko discusses about the challenges in education and in the model of professional mind. His basic understanding of difficulties in the world is expressed in the slide (right). He quotes a sentence attributed to Albert Einstein: 'The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them.' Thus he says "In the world of rapid changes we have to handle non-typical problematic situations effectively. I.e., we must change our way of thinking and change the basic attitude every time we are faced with non-typical problem." and also "Developing those skills require very innovative education -- 'Nonlinear Education' ".
To understand his points better, we should first learn his comparison between 'the well-filled mind' and 'the well-organized mind'. These are relevant to our visions of educated persons. 'Professionals with the mind well filled in with typical solutions from the past' are certainly the target of modern education systems. But we need persons with more dynamic and well-organized mind, Khomenko says. Well-organized mind is a mind that could process available knowledge in order to obtain satisfactory solutions to unknown (non-typical) problems.
For the purpose of education toward well-organized mind, the Author is promoting 'Problem Centered Education' to adult people (see the slide (below-left)). The Author, Nikolai Khomenko, has been the leader in the OTSM-TRIZ education for children and kids. He now promotes "Non-linear education" (mostly) for children. It is a way of education in a surprising manner. "We develop (in children) network of appropriate skills simultaneously, but not step by step as in the linear technology." [Maybe children are flexible enough to handle the 'creative chaos' in their mind, if they are trained in an appropriate way. Khomenko and his collaborators have already produced a lot of results/examples in children education.]
Finally Khomenko mentions his thought about 'What is creativity'. He says 'The core of Creativity is an productive activity of human mind that can not be completely formalized." [I recall a similar definition of 'Artificial Intelligence' (AI). The three statements in the conclusion of the slide (right) seem to give good answers to the vague questions I have had in my mind.] The higher level of formalization of the procedure we have, the lower level of creativity we need. This is what modern professional education does with our mind, i.e. decrease our creativity. And this is what TRIZ (and OTSM) tries to do in a larger extent, as stated in 3. But at the same time it (i.e., modern professional education as well as TRIZ & OTSM) open our mind to a new horizon of creativity and provide us new opportunity.
*** This Keynote Lecture was given in a highly abstract and advanced way. Even for myself, after reading several of his articles/papers beforehand and attending at the OTSM Introductory Seminar on the previous day of the Symposium, the Keynote Lecture at the Symposium was not easy to understand. Only after struggling to complete this part of my Personal Report, I now feel I understand what Nikolai Khomenko talked in this lecture. You may notice that I have rearranged several slides from the Author's original order (see PDF ). I hope Nikolai would kindly accept my rearrangement as an effort of my organizing the complex information given.
I am grateful to Nikolai Khomenko for his so much and serious efforts for making this Keynote Lecture rich in contents and yet compact. OTSM is new in Japan. We understood its importance last year through the presentation by Atom Mirakyan, Nikolai Khomenko, et al. at Japan TRIZ Symposium 2009. We know that there are so many big and important projects which could obtain benefits from the application of OTSM-TRIZ approach. We need a lot more efforts to understand and apply the approach fully.
On the second day evening, we had a group discussion on the theme of "Education and TRIZ". Nikolai Khomenko kindly presented his work in the session as well. I will write about it later (in Part F) briefly. Also please refer to the separate page about the Award presented to Mr. Nikolai Khomenko .
Please read the original presentation slides in PDF posted already in the Official Web site of Japan TRIZ Society. The slides were translated into Japanese by Mr. Shinsuke Kurosawa and posted there also in PDF .
[Note: In this Web site, original slides are reposted in PDF in English and in Japanese .(Sept. 17, 2011) ]
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