40 Inventive Principles in Latin Phrases

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    By Gennady Retseptor

    Were people who lived in Antiquity and Medieval times familiar with the 40 inventive principles of TRIZ? Having studied famous Latin phrases, quotes and proverbs, the answer appears to be positive. The 40 inventive principles, discovered by Genrich Altshuller and his colleagues as patterns for technical problems solution, also represent fundamental and universal principles of human wisdom and creativity.5

    Principle 1. Segmentation (Division)

    A. Divide object or system into independent parts.

    B. Make object or system sectional. Make object or system easy to assemble-disassemble.
    C. Increase the degree of fragmentation or segmentation.

    D. Transition to micro-level.

    Principle 2. Taking Out (Separation, Isolation)

    A. Separate an interfering (weak) part or property from object or system.

    B. Single out the only necessary (and sufficient) part or property of object or system.

    Principle 3. Local Quality (Non-uniformity)

    A. Change object or system structure from uniform to non-uniform. Use object or system non-uniformity.
    B. Change an external environment (or external influence) from uniform to non-uniform. Use external non-uniformity.
    C. Make each part of object or system function in conditions most suitable for its operation.
    D. Make each part of object or system fulfill a different and/or complementary useful function.

    Principle 3 Inverted. Global Quality (Uniformity)

    Principle 4. Asymmetry (Symmetry Change)

    A. Change the shape of object or system from symmetrical to asymmetrical.
    B. Change the shape or properties of object or system to suit external asymmetries.
    C. If object or system is asymmetrical, increase its degree of asymmetry.

    Principle 4 Inverted. Symmetry (Reciprocity)

    Principle 5. Merging (Combining, Integration, Harmony)

    A. Bring closer together (or merge) identical or similar objects or systems; assemble identical or similar parts to perform parallel operations.

    B. Make operations contiguous or parallel; bring them together in time.

    C. Agglomerate objects or systems to bi- and poly-system.

    Principle 6. Universality (Multi-functionality)

    A. Make a part of object or system perform multiple functions; eliminate the need for other parts.

    B. Use standardized features.

    Principle 6 Inverted. Non-universality

    Principle 7. Nesting

    A. Place one object or system inside another; place each object, in turn, inside the other.

    B. Make one part pass (dynamically) through a cavity in the other.

    Principle 8. Anti-Weight (Seeking Help from Higher Forces)

    A. To compensate for the weight of object or system, merge it with other objects or systems that provide lift.
    B. To compensate for the weight of object or system, make it interact with the environment (e.g., use buoyancy and other forces).

    Principle 9. Preliminary Anti-Action (Preventive Measures)

    A. If it will be necessary to do an action with both harmful and useful effects, this action should be replaced with anti-actions to control harmful effects.
    B. Create beforehand stresses in object or system that will oppose known undesirable working stresses later on.

    Principle 10. Preliminary Action

    A. Perform, before it is needed, the required change of object or system (either fully or partially).

    B. Pre-arrange objects or systems such that they can come into action from the most convenient place and without losing time for their delivery.

    Principle 10 Inverted. Afterward Action

    Principle 11. Beforehand Cushioning (Caution, Alertness)

    A. Prepare emergency means beforehand to compensate for the relatively low reliability of object or system.

    Principle 12. Equipotentiality (Equality)

    A. In a potential field, limit position changes (e.g., change operating conditions to eliminate the need to raise or lower objects in a gravity field).

    Principle 13. Inversion (The Other Way Round)

    A. Invert the action(s) used to solve the problem (e.g., instead of cooling an object, heat it).
    B. Make movable parts (or the external environment) fixed, and fixed parts movable.
    C. Turn object or system "upside down."

    Principle 14. Spheroidality (Perfection, Excellence)

    A. Instead of using rectilinear parts, surfaces, or forms, use curvilinear ones; move from flat surfaces to spherical ones; from parts shaped as a cube (parallel-piped) to ball-shaped structures.
    B. Use rollers, balls, spirals, domes.
    C. Go from linear to rotary motion (or vise versa).
    D. Use centrifugal forces.

    Principle 14 Inverted. Imperfection

    Principle 15. Dynamics (Optimization)

    A. Allow (or design) the characteristics of object, external environment, process or system to change to be optimal or to find an optimal operating condition.
    B. Divide object or system into parts capable of movement relative to each other.
    C. If an object or system is rigid or inflexible, make it movable or adaptive.
    D. Increase degree of free motion.

    Principle 15 Inverted. Static State

    Principle 16. Partial or Excessive Action

    A. If 100 percent of object or system is hard to achieve using a given solution method then, by using 'slightly less' or 'slightly more' of the same method, the problem may be considerably easier to solve.

    Principle 16 Inverted. Extremism (All or Nothing)

    Principle 17. Another Dimension or Scale

    A. If object or system contains or moves in a straight line, consider use of dimensions or movement outside the line. Move object or system in two-dimensional space.
    B. If object or system contains or moves in a plane, consider use of dimensions or movement outside the current plane. Move object or system in three-dimensional space.
    C. Use a multi-story arrangement of objects or systems instead of a single-story arrangement.

    D. Tilt or re-orient object or system, lay it on its side. Look from another angle.

    E. Use 'another side' of a given area. Look at reverse side of a medal.

    F. Use another scale.

    Principle 18. Vibration (Agitation)

    A. Cause object or system to oscillate or vibrate.
    B. Increase its frequency (even up to the ultrasonic).
    C. Use object or system resonant frequency.
    D. Use piezoelectric vibrators instead of mechanical ones.
    E. Use combined ultrasonic and electromagnetic field oscillations.

    Principle 19. Periodic Action

    A. Instead of continuous action, use periodic or pulsating actions.
    B. If an action is already periodic, change the periodic magnitude or frequency.
    C. Use pauses between impulses to perform a different action

    Principle 20. Continuity of Useful Action

    A. Carry on work continuously; make all parts of object or system work at full load, all the time.

    E. Eliminate all idle or intermittent actions or work.

    Principle 20 Inverted. Continuity of Harmful Action

    Principle 21. Skipping (Quickness, Decisiveness)

    A. Conduct a process, or certain stages (e.g. destructible, harmful or hazardous operations) at high speed.

    Principle 21 Inverted. Slowing (Delay)

    Principle 22. "Blessing in Disguise" (Convert Harm into Benefit, Find Good in Bad)

    A. Use harmful factors (particularly, harmful effects of the environment or surroundings) to achieve a positive effect.

    B. Eliminate the primary harmful action by adding it to another harmful action to resolve the problem.

    C. Amplify a harmful factor to such a degree that it is no longer harmful.

    Principle 22 Inverted. "Cursing in Disguise" (Aware of Bad in Good)

    Principle 23. Feedback

    A. Introduce feedback (referring back, cross-checking) to improve action, process or system.

    B. If feedback is already used, change its magnitude or influence.

    Principle 23 Inverted. Feed-forward (Forecasting)

    Principle 24. Intermediary

    A. Use an intermediary carrier article or intermediary process.
    B. Merge one object or system temporarily with another (which can be easily removed).

    Principle 25. Self-Service (Self-Organization)

    A. Make object or system serve itself by performing auxiliary helpful functions.

    B. Use waste resources, energy, or substances.

    Principle 25 Inverted. Outward Directed Action

    Principle 26. Copying

    A. Instead of unavailable, expensive, fragile object or system, use simpler and inexpensive copies.

    B. Replace object or system, or process with optical copy or image. A scale can be used to reduce or enlarge image.

    C. If visible optical copies are already used, move to infrared or ultraviolet copies. Look at things in another light.

    Principle 26 Inverted. Original, Source

    Principle 27. Cheap Short-Living Objects

    A. Replace expensive object or system with a multiple of inexpensive objects or systems, compromising certain qualities (such as service life, for instance).

    Principle 28. Mechanics Substitution with Fields (Natural Phenomena)

    A. Replace a mechanical means with a sensory (optical, acoustic, taste or smell) means.
    B. Use electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields to interact with object or system. Replace mechanical devices with physical fields.
    C. Change from static to movable fields, from unstructured fields to those having structure.
    D. Use fields in conjunction with field-activated (e.g., ferromagnetic) particles.
    E. Use natural phenomena.

    Principle 29. Pneumatics and Hydraulics (Air and Water Allegories)

    A. Use gas and liquid parts of object or system instead of solid parts (e.g., inflatable, filled with liquids, air cushion, hydrostatic, hydro-reactive).

    Principle 30. Flexible Shells and Thin Films

    A. Use flexible shells and thin films instead of three-dimensional structures.
    B. Isolate object or system from the external environment using flexible shells and thin films.

    Principle 31. Porous Materials

    A. Make object or system porous or add porous elements (inserts, coatings, etc.).
    B. If object or system is already porous, use the pores to introduce a useful substance or function.

    Principle 32. Color or Transparency Change

    A. Change color of an object or system or its external environment.
    B. Change the transparency of object or system or its external environment.
    C. In order to improve observability of things that are difficult to see, use colored additives or luminescent elements.
    D. Change the emissivity properties of an object subject to radiant heating.

    Principle 33. Homogeneity (Similarity)

    A. Make objects or systems interacting with a given object of the same material (or material with identical properties).

    Principle 33 Inverted. Heterogeneity

    Principle 34. Discarding and Recovering

    A. Make portions of object or system that have fulfilled their functions go away (discard by dissolving, evaporating, etc.) or modify these directly during operation.
    B. Conversely, restore consumable parts of object or system directly in operation.

    Principle 35. Parameter or Property Change

    A. Change object or system physical state (e.g., to a gas, liquid, or solid).
    B. Change the concentration or consistency.
    C. Change the degree of flexibility.
    D. Change the temperature.
    E. Change the pressure.
    F. Change other parameters.

    Principle 36. Phase Transition (Life Metamorphoses)

    A. Use phenomena occurring during phase transition (e.g., volume changes, loss or absorption of heat, etc.).

    Principle 37. Thermal Expansion (Fervor, Passion)

    A. Use thermal expansion (or contraction) of materials.
    B. If thermal expansion is being used, use multiple materials with different coefficients of thermal expansion.

    Principle 38. Strong Oxidants (Inspiration, Enthusiasm)

    A. Replace common air with oxygen-enriched air.
    B. Replace enriched air with pure oxygen.
    C. Expose air or oxygen to ionizing radiation.
    D. Use ionized oxygen.
    E. Replace ozonized (or ionized) oxygen with ozone.
    F. Insert an active ingredient.

    Principle 39. Inert Environment (Neutrality, Indifference)

    A. Replace a normal environment with an inert one.
    B. Add neutral parts, or inert additives to object or system.

    Principle 40. Composite Structures ("Renaissance People")

    A. Change from uniform to composite (multiple) materials.


    1. Tate, Karen and Domb, Ellen, 40 Inventive Principles with Examples, The TRIZ Journal, July 1997.
    2. Williams, Todd and Domb, Ellen, Reversibility of the 40 Principles of Problem Solving, The TRIZ Journal, May 1998.
    3. Mann, Darrell and Domb, Ellen, 40 Inventive (Business) Principles with Examples, The TRIZ Journal, September 1999.
    4. Terninko, John, 40 Inventive Principles with Social Examples, The TRIZ Journal, June 2001.
    5. Retseptor, Gennady, 40 Inventive Principles in Quality Management, The TRIZ Journal, March 2003.
    6. Retseptor, Gennady, 40 Inventive Principles in Marketing, Sales and Advertising, The TRIZ Journal, April 2005.
    7. Retseptor, Gennady, 40 Inventive Principles in Customer Satisfaction Enhancement, The TRIZ Journal, January 2007.
    8. Yuni Words of Wisdom website. http://www.yuni.com/library/latin.html.
    9. Wikipedia Online Dictionary. Search = list of Latin phrases. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Latin_phrases.
    10. Answers Corporation, Search = Latin phrases. http://www.answers.com/library/Latin+Phrases.
    11. Farlex, TheFreeDictionary.com, Search = list of Latin phrases (full), http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/List+of+Latin+phrases+(full).
    12. Fact-index.com, Search = list of Latin phrases, http://www.fact-index.com/l/li/list_of_latin_phrases.html.
    13. The Latin Site. http://www.geocities.com/thelatinsite/classic/quotes.html.
    14. Nodeworks Encyclopedia, Search = list of Latin phrases. http://pedia.nodeworks.com/L/LI/LIS/List_of_Latin_phrases/.
    15. Sacklunch.net, Search = Latin. http://www.sacklunch.net/Latin/index.html.
    16. Special Dictionary. Search = Latin phrases and abbreviations. http://www.special-dictionary.com/latin/a/.
    17. The Tips Bank, Search = Latin thinkers. http://www.thetipsbank.com/latinthinkers.htm.
    18. Wikiquote. http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Main_Page.
    19. WordIQ, Search = list of Latin phrases, http://www.wordiq.com/definition/List_of_Latin_phrases.
    20. WorldofQuotes.com. Search = Authors. http://www.worldofquotes.com/author/index.html.

    About the Author:

    Gennady Retseptor is a quality manager of AVX Israel Ltd, the Thin Film Operation Plant of AVX Corporation, Kyocera Group Company. He received a masters degree with honors in Microelectronics from the Moscow Steel and Alloys University. Gennady Retseptor is an ASQ Certified Quality Manager since 1999. Contact Gennady Retseptor at gennadyr (at) avx.co.il.

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