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The Theory of Innovative Problem Solving (TRIZ) is a great approach to stimulating fresh, new ideas for new beginnings in designs. In keeping with TRIZCON2010’s theme, “TRIZ for new Beginnings,” this paper will demonstrate ways to take TRIZ to a completely new level.


TRIZ is a wonderful device to generate conceptual ideas to solve a problem, improve a design, or introduce a new product. The problem with TRIZ is that it is too good at generating ideas. In most any design there are enough technical and physical contradictions to generate thousands of ideas.


Theory of Constraints (TOC) is a wonderful device to narrow the focus of a process to the weakest link- the area holding a system or product back from meaningful improvement. The problem with TOC is that it offers no systematic methodology to solve the weakest link it identifies.


Merging TRIZ and TOC is a logical choice and has been done many times. In this paper, TRIZ and TOC are joined with a logical framework in which not only the weakest link can be analyzed further, but the area that affects most of the process can also be identified for TRIZ idealization.


This paper is a summary of the results of my Doctoral Dissertation and will be submitted with real-life examples of application of its principles.

Dr. Stephen Luke is a professional engineer residing in Chesapeake, VA with his wife, the former Amy Stewart, and two sons, James and Malachi. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute (1983), a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University (1993), and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Old Dominion University (2002). Steve has authored over twenty technical papers, mostly in the field of Reliability Engineering, and has written over 100 books in the area of Chord theory for musical instruments. Steve has worked for the U.S. Government and in the private sector.  He currently works for AMSEC LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding where he serves as a logistics engineer.

Inside TRIZ

Quantifying the TRIZ Levels of Invention

Inside TRIZ


navneet bhushanQuantifying the TRIZ Levels of Invention

A tool to estimate the strength and life of a Patent

TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) classifies inventions into five novelty levels. At level 1 are slight modifications of the existing systems.  At level 2 are those inventions that resolve a system conflict or contradiction using usually inventive solution or inventive principle used to solve similar problems in other systems.    At level 3, the inventions change one subsystem or resolve the system conflicts in a fundamental way. At level 4, the invention gives birth to new systems using interdisciplinary approaches. The level 5 inventions are closer to a recently discovered scientific phenomenon. See article for a complete discussion.



TRIZ Features

Alexander Selutsky

TRIZ Feature

Alexander Selyutsky - a key figure in the history of TRIZ!

Alexander Selyutsky

Selyutsky Alexander Borisovich was born April 6, 1933 to an intelligent Jewish family residing in Leningrad. During the World War II the plant where his father was working was evacuated to the Urals, and the family (the parents and Alexander) moved to Chelyabinsk. Here, Alexander graduated from high school. He wanted to go to a military school, but didn’t pass vision test and entered the Chelyabinsk Polytechnic Institute. In his first year he was forced to learn boxing (because of frequent anti-Semitic attacks) and became a Komsomol activist.

After graduation, he was sent to Petrozavodsk Onega tractor plant, where he worked as a designer. He continued leading a very active social life, organized and led voluntary militia patrolling the streets of the city because the situation was very criminal. In the search for more satisfying work he became interested in patenting, completed appropriate courses and became a patent agent.

In 1960, Alexander married Dolly Naumovna Audleys, and had a daughter Alla in 1961. The same year G.S Altshuller published a book " “Learn how to invent"[1] . After reading this book in 1965 Selyutsky wrote a letter to Altshuller. This letter started their acquaintance by correspondence. Since then, Alexander became one of the most dedicated Altshuller’s disciples and an active promoter of the emerging new science.

They finally met in 1968 in Dzintary (near Riga), at the seminar organized by the Central Board of VOIR (state leading inventors’ and innovators’ society) that invited Altshuller and several of his associates. It was the first time that Alexander and others got a chance to work under the direct guidance of Altshuller and to learn from him. Later, in 1983, Alexander participated as one of the instructors in the seminar conducted by G.S. Altshuller in Moscow at the Institute for continuous education for chemical and petroleum industries.

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