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Deducing Altshuller’s Laws of Evolution of Technical Systems

Abstract : According to Genrich Altshuller and most of his students, his eight laws of technical systems evolution were found by systematic patent analysis. In this paper, we show that not a single patent must be studied to derive the very same eight laws, but rather that they follow from an analysis of the concept of artificial instrumental systems in the context of a competitive world with scarce resources. Our investigation yields a clear definition of ideality which—insofar as certain constraints are respected—indicates multiple trends underlying the evolution of systems towards increased competitiveness when resources are scarce. By making the truth conditions for each law explicit, we attempt to explain why some high generality patents from the 20th century contradict some of Altshuller’s laws. We conclude that although patents can be seen as a useful source for inspiration, validation and falsification of generalizations, they are not the most promising place to start to look for laws of system evolution, since mere induction from past examples cannot provide the justification needed to meaningfully inform engineers about how to develop systems in the future. Our approach suggest an alternative route for articulating and justifying such laws.
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Justus Schollmeyer, Viesturs Tamuzs. Deducing Altshuller’s Laws of Evolution of Technical Systems. 19th International TRIZ Future Conference (TFC), Oct 2019, Marrakesh, Morocco. pp.55-69, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-32497-1_6⟩. ⟨hal-02905526⟩



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