Development lines built on the analysis of development of numerous actual systems are an effective tool to describe the sequence of options of the system under analysis.
The development line is a series of successive transformation options of a technical system or its component arranged in the order of modification of a certain parameter characterising the system. Development lines are used in the TRIZ as a tool enabling to consider the resulting technical solution in dynamics. Besides, information organisation in the development line seems to be very promising in describing the evolution of technical systems and their components. Let us take a closer look at the development lines.
The following approach was used to create the development lines used in the TRIZ. First, a large number of various technical systems were analysed, and development lines of their components were created according to the change of a certain parameter. The lines created were then compared to find recurring steps which had already been included in a generalised line fair for an entire class of systems and their components.
For instance, an analysis of a large number of existing systems has demonstrated that they became more dynamic, mobile as they developed. The rigid ladder became a folding one owing to several links, the computer keyboard and mobile telephones also became folding, the permanently attached seats of the vehicle became hinged and got an option to recline, the bicycle “learnt” to fold as well ... In other words, mobility of systems increased with their development.
Only upon accumulating sufficient statistics, researchers concluded that such a step as introducing a hinge into a rigid structure can be included in the generalised mobility enhancement line. It can be expected that most of the systems under analysis will develop in this direction.
Each line is represented at two levels: the generalised one which presents abstract descriptions of system options and the specific one which demonstrates examples of such transformation options for an actual system. In the analysis, it is necessary to compare the development lines composing it with the abstract development lines making up the basic Evolution Tree.
Display options are placed along the dynamisation line shown. The rigid display – foldable – flexible and twisted-up one – these options existed at the time of creating the display line. However, no displays with the active surface and displays separated from the laptop existed in 2002 yet. Those were our forward-looking solutions which were implemented in 2006-2007.
The basic development lines can be likened to a template, a matrix. The template “cells” correspond to the key line transformations. Options of solving the problem should be placed in these “cells”. Those cells which remain emply will provide new solution options.
If the development line of a particular object and an abstract development line describing the same transformations are placed next to each other, two situations can occur.
Some transformation options are skipped on a particular line. Upon discovering empty cells of a particular Evolution Tree, it is necessary to perform a second search by keywords. If the search does not produce results, the possibility exists that unknown, non-proprietary options of the object under analysis are located there. Such gaps are the most convenient places to attack a competing patent and to search for forward-looking solutions. Besides, the options of completion of the system under study which we do not know – existing and promising ones – are hidden there.
It is equally important to identify incomplete development lines of a particular Tree. It is often the case that the end parts of the lines are not complete. This is where the most promising options for transformation are located, those which could form the basis for new, superior technical solutions.
It can be said that comparison of the Evolution Tree of an actual object and of the basic Tree gives a kind of “prompt machine” (“concept generator”) enabling to get “portraits” of possible options of transformation of an actual system. Having such description portraits, it is much easier to find ideas for solving the problem when generating new technical solutions.
Development lines are used in the algorithm of AIPS 2015 when formulating hypotheses, as a database of indirect analogies comparison with which makes it possible to improve the system under analysis concerning the necessary parameter.
The development lines can be applied in solving the problems singled out, in creating problem-solving models. Use of the lines is appropriate when we have several options for solving a problem but none of them suits us.