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Design and Evolution of Software Libraries – A TRIZ based approach to innovation
Ramkumar Subramanian, Wipro Technologies
In this paper we propose an application of TRIZ to the design and evolution of software libraries for enabling library designers to systematically provide innovative libraries and developers to make the right choices. Software libraries, a collection of an interface and subroutines that were typically associated with systems programming, are today the main engines of growth in an ecosystem where developers are often viewed as business partners. Libraries exist today for major operating systems like Windows, major device markets like smart-phones , major hardware configurations like embedded or multi-core, major languages like Java and specialized domains like search or maps.
Most libraries involve some kind of trade-off in terms of the context and purpose of use. Whereas some libraries may emphasize memory efficiency over speed, some value extensibility over comprehensiveness and others may choose niche segments versus generic features. The rise of the open source as a credible business proposition has lead to the proliferation of libraries that are available today for the developer to choose from when doing a feature in a cost effective fashion. This also allows us to analyze the dynamics of these open source libraries for the resolution of the contextual and teleological conflicts and corresponding solutions that were reached while controlling for the external variables using the tools provided by TRIZ. Using this, and the market reaction to the strategies over time, we can identify the best practices that will aid a library developer to innovate with new or existing libraries and developers to make the right choice while using them.
The dataset used in the study is a comprehensive sampling of open source Java products and libraries for the past 5 years. Java is an ecosystem which thrives on libraries and is often held as a paradigm of a library oriented language. There are more than 20 production grade open source libraries in Java for XML processing itself, each of which takes a unique approach to resolve a conflict. A classic case of XML processing involves one library optimized for speed, one for memory and one for network performance, each of which has been successful in its own niche. We apply TRIZ to this dataset to see if we can learn from these libraries to aid systematic innovation.
Finally, the state of art in software library design is based on the library centric software design conferences. Based on our above datasets, and the present understanding of the field, we then extrapolate to posit some generic laws about library evolution and design under various market scenarios. We view our work as useful to software engineering as well as other interdisciplinary fields that also have a library or toolkit kind of approach to system building.

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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