â€œLogical Enhancement of ASITâ€
Editor | On 10, Sep 2003
By: Takahara Toshio
After TRIZ (the acronym for â€œTheory of Inventive Problem Solvingâ€ in Russian) was developed, many articles have been issued  and many improvements including ASIT (the acronym for â€œAdvanced Systematic Inventive Thinkingâ€) [6-8] have been made on TRIZ. The systematical theory of TRIZ and these excellent achievements were fundamentally based on the combination of theoretical approach and â€œbottom-upâ€ or empirical approach from the beginning. This approach constructed todayâ€™s main background of TRIZ and its improvements. In previous papers, after discussion on â€œtechnologyâ€ and â€œinstitutionâ€ in human life, I made clear the position of â€œobjectâ€ especially â€œprocess objectâ€ in problem solving  . And I considered the way the human being behaved in life relating with â€œtechnology/institutionâ€ and the role of â€œprocess objectâ€ and â€œsystem objectâ€  . These two former articles described the situation around the human behavior and object.
In this paper, on the basis of formal contents of object, I try to enhance ASIT using â€œtopdownâ€ approach. Related examination on the relation between â€œthe 40 principlesâ€ of TRIZ and the â€œEnhancement of ASITâ€ is also given.
1. â€œTechnologyâ€/ â€œinstitutionâ€ and â€œobjectâ€ [2,3]
In the area of operation on the outside world â€œtechnologyâ€ born by the â€œtechnical meansâ€ or â€œtechnical systemâ€ and â€œinstitutionâ€ born by â€œcommon notionâ€ or â€œinstitutional systemâ€ are made and made use of.
We have five phases as to the affecting direction between â€œtechnology/institutionâ€ and the human being.
1) â€œmakeâ€ phase
2) â€œmanageâ€ phase
3) â€œuseâ€ phase
4) â€œaffectâ€ phase
5) â€œbe affectedâ€ phase
An â€œobjectâ€ is everything to be selected and decided to solve a problem or to design something. Thus we can grasp that â€œobjectâ€ is not only â€œsystem objectâ€ in space domain consisting of the element of technological system or institutional system to make but also â€œprocess objectâ€ in time domain consisting of the element of process of system action or human action.  â€œSystem designâ€ is simply to decide the contents of â€œsystem objectâ€ or to solve a â€œsystem problemâ€. â€œProcess designâ€ is simply to decide the contents of â€œprocess objectâ€ or to solve a â€œprocess problemâ€. The relation between applied areas, three phases of â€œtechnology and institutionâ€ and objects are in table 1.
2. Function and structure of object
After examining the situation around the human behavior and object , I give an outline of
â€œstructureâ€ and â€œfunctionâ€ considering formal contents of â€œobjectâ€ which have statics and dynamics.
In general â€œobjectâ€ itself has
1. Statics: Attribute and
2. Dynamics: Property to change.
Between objects and between attributes, there are
3. Static relations and
4. Dynamic relations which include
4.1 Causality and
A viewpoint of human being or institutional system specifies the â€œgranularityâ€ of â€œobjectâ€.
â€œGranularityâ€ is time range, space range and level of abstraction.
â€œObjectâ€ has â€œattributeâ€(in broad sense).
An â€œattributeâ€(in broad sense) consists of quality attribute and quantity attribute.
A â€œstateâ€ is the attribute that can be easily changed.
An â€œattributeâ€(in narrow sense) including â€œabilityâ€ is the attribute that can not be changed easily.
As the difference between â€œbroadâ€ and â€œnarrowâ€ is relative, so the difference between â€œstateâ€ and â€œattributeâ€(in narrow sense) is relative. It is a viewpoint of the interest of concerned people that fix the separating line between â€œstateâ€ and â€œattributeâ€(in narrow sense).
Example: From the viewpoint of taking a bath, â€œwater level of a bathtubâ€ is a â€œstateâ€, and â€œshape of a bathtubâ€ is an â€œattributeâ€(in narrow sense). In this case this â€œattributeâ€ is almost impossible to change. In general â€œattributeâ€(in narrow sense) can be changed though it is relatively hard to do so.
From the viewpoint of tools to solve the problems it is important whether the situation is easy to change or not. Especially in the case of solving a â€œprocess problemâ€ human being or institutional system (such as company or government) change â€œstateâ€ to reach the â€œsoftâ€ solution more often than in the case of solving â€œsystem problemâ€ (such as making a technical invention) which has a main problem to solve â€œhardâ€ by changing structure or attribute of entity.
â€œSystem objectâ€ can take â€œactionâ€. An action is taken by â€œsystem objectâ€ via process or a â€œprocess objectâ€ itself. And both â€œsystem objectâ€ and â€œprocess objectâ€ have attributes.
â€œActionâ€ can change
1) â€œattributes and/or statesâ€ of the object itself,
2) â€œaction and/or attributes and/or statesâ€ of the other object,
3) static relations between â€œattributes and statesâ€ of the object itself, and
4) static relations between â€œattributes and statesâ€ of object itself and those of the other object.
A â€œfunctionâ€ is the â€œpositive meaningâ€ of â€œobjectâ€ to the outside world. To be positive or not positive depends on the practical viewpoint of concerning human being or institutional system. â€œObjectâ€ has a â€œpositive meaningâ€ to the outside world when
1) its action itself is useful or
2) its action makes a useful â€œattributeâ€ or â€œstateâ€.
â€œActionâ€ is a dynamic relation between object and the outside world or human being. So this â€œactionâ€ is said to have a dynamic function to the outside world or human being. All the other â€œrelationsâ€ between â€œstateâ€/â€œattributeâ€ to the outside world/ human being is static ones having a direction of â€œstateâ€/â€œattributeâ€ of object to the outside world/ human being. Though these relations are static, through this relation the â€œstateâ€/â€œattributeâ€ of object affects the outside world or human being. In this sense â€œstateâ€/â€œattributeâ€ is said to have a static function to the outside world or human being.
A â€œstructureâ€ is the whole things that consist of elements and relations between them. A set of â€œobjectsâ€, either they are â€œsystem objectsâ€ or â€œprocess objectsâ€, have the structure of â€œobjectsâ€.
3. Problem solving tool
To reach a solution, we can operate â€œobjectâ€, â€œstructureâ€, â€œfunctionâ€ and â€œattributeâ€ as follows.
â€œObjectâ€ itself can be added, removed or changed.
â€œStructureâ€ as relation between objects can be changed.
â€œActionâ€ as a function can be added or removed. Note 1
â€œAttributeâ€ can be added/activated, removed/deactivated or changed.
â€œStateâ€ can be changed.
From the opposite side, the same things are described as follows.
An operation to â€œaddâ€ is either to â€œadd objectâ€, to â€œadd action as a function of objectâ€ or to â€œadd/activate attributeâ€ in problem solving tools.
An operation to â€œremoveâ€ is either to â€œremove objectâ€, to â€œremove action as a function of objectâ€ or to â€œremove/deactivate attributeâ€.
An operation to â€œchangeâ€ is either to â€œchange structure of objectsâ€ or to â€œchange attributeâ€.
As a â€œstructureâ€ consists of elements and relations between these elements, to â€œchange structure of objectsâ€ is either to â€œreplace objectâ€ or to â€œchange relation between each objectsâ€.
These are shown in table 2.
Note 1: There is a logical possibility of changing â€œactionâ€. But I leave it as it is, because changing action can be realized by changing attribute of object in most cases and if necessary by combination of deleting and addition of action.
A sole â€œactionâ€ is treated as that of â€œsystem objectâ€. If we treat a series of â€œactionsâ€, each â€œactionâ€ is treated as an element of â€œprocess objectâ€.
We must pay attention that â€œobjectâ€ involves â€œfunctionâ€ (action or attribute) and â€œattributeâ€ in broad sense involves â€œattributeâ€ in narrow sense and â€œstateâ€.
Table 3 shows the relations between five phases of â€œtechnology and institutionâ€ and using or changing operation on â€œobjectâ€.
In â€œmanageâ€ phase and â€œmakeâ€ phase we actively construct or change systems by using existing object and changing its object. But â€œmanageâ€ phase can construct or change process object only.
In â€œuseâ€ phase we make use of existing systems by â€œactionâ€ of existing process object and can change â€œstateâ€ of object.
In â€œaffectâ€ phase we can change or destroy not intentionally operations of â€œobjectâ€.
In â€œbe affectedâ€ phase we does not use nor change any operations of â€œobjectâ€.
After logical examination of the â€œstructureâ€, â€œfunctionâ€ and â€œattributeâ€, I try to enhance ASIT using â€œtop-downâ€ approach to obtain â€œEnhancement of ASIT (ASIT+)â€.
According to the former preparations, operation of â€œEnhancement of ASIT (ASIT+)â€ should be as follows shown in table 4 compared with ASIT. The terms of â€œEnhancement of ASIT (ASIT+)â€ are following that of ASIT [6,7] when possible.
ASITâ€™s â€œThe Closed World Conditionâ€ (â€œThe inventive solution world does not introduce new kinds of objects that do not appear in the problem world.â€  ) is very strict and powerful, therefore it is maintained here. In â€œASIT Compared to Scamper for Devising New Productsâ€ by Richard Kaplan, Roni Horowitz replied to Richard Kaplan, â€œThe Closed World condition forces the developers to invest their intellectual efforts in areas they would otherwise neglect. In this respect, the Closed World condition does not only restrict but also broadens the scope of the searchâ€. 
In table 4 we can
#1 add â€œobjectâ€ using multiplication tool *1,
#2 add function of existing â€œobjectâ€ using unification tool *2,
#3 remove â€œobjectâ€ using object removal tool *3,
#3+ remove â€œfunctionâ€ using function removal tool *3+,
#4 change â€œstructureâ€ of â€œobjectâ€ using division tool (including the case of changing object using â€œbreaking symmetryâ€ tool) *4,
#4+ replace â€œobjectâ€ using object replace tool *4+,
#5+ change attribute of â€œobjectâ€ using uniform attribute change tool *5+, and/or
#5 change attribute of â€œobjectâ€ using breaking symmetry tool *5.
(We need to check symmetry in space, in time or group symmetry.  ) Here,
*1: Multiplication: Solve a problem by introducing a slightly modified copy of an existing â€œobjectâ€ into the current system or process ([6-8] : I slightly changed the formulation of [6,7] to apply to both system object and process object).
*2: Unification: Solve a problem by assigning a new use to an existing â€œobjectâ€ [6-8] .
Case 1: adding an action
Case 2: adding/activating attribute or state. Many examples of activating attribute are shown in  .
*3: Object Removal: Solve a problem by removing an object from the system or process and assigning its action to another existing object ([6-8] : I slightly changed the formulation of [6,7] ).
*3+: Function Removal: Solve a problem by removing function of existing object from the system or process.
Case 1: removing an action
Case 2: removing/deactivating attribute or state
*4: Division: Solve a problem by dividing an object and reorganizing its parts (including the case of changing object using â€œbreaking symmetryâ€ tool) [6-8] . Note 2
Note 2: It seems to be that there is a logical possibility of changing structure by not dividing an object. But I leave it as it is. This is a matter of dealing with â€œgranularityâ€. *4+: Object Replace: Solve a problem by replacing or substituting existing â€œsystem objectâ€ or
â€œprocess objectâ€ with adding â€œsystem objectâ€ or â€œprocess objectâ€ obtained by multiplication. In â€œASIT Compared to Scamper for Devising New Productsâ€ by Richard Kaplan, Roni Horowitz replied to Richard Kaplan, â€œASIT does not allow substituting at all because of the Closed World principleâ€.  
But in â€œEnhancement of ASIT (ASIT+)â€ â€œObject Replaceâ€ tool is added which is to â€œreplace or substitute existing object with adding object obtained by â€œmultiplicationâ€. This enables the principles such as â€œPrinciple 26: Copyingâ€ in â€œthe 40 principlesâ€ of TRIZ to apply to the object, while keeping â€œthe Closed World conditionâ€.
*5+: Uniform Attribute Change: Solve a problem by changing attribute uniformly.
*5: Breaking Symmetry: Solve a problem by changing a symmetrical situation into an asymmetrical one [6-8] .
(hatched parts are added to ASIT)
Newly added tools are as follows.
Function Removal Tool
Object Replace Tool
Uniform Attribute Change Tool
As compared with ASITâ€™s five tools, â€œEnhancement of ASIT (ASIT+)â€ has eight tools.
The logical â€œtop downâ€ approach makes â€œEnhancement of ASIT (ASIT+)â€ applicable to all kinds of operations. In fact these three tools seem to be useful in some cases. But these additions are not combined with the empirical basis. So I must call â€œEnhancement of ASIT (ASIT+)â€ tentative at this time. And â€œEnhancement of ASIT (ASIT+)â€ itself can be extended to be more generic, but in this article it keeps strict restriction and power of ASIT; at the same time it obtains some logical exactness.
An important thing is that ASIT can also be seen along the lines of the logical approach, and can extend smoothly to â€œEnhancement of ASIT (ASIT+)â€, which is the feature of ASIT and â€œEnhancement of ASIT (ASIT+)â€.
4. The 40 principlesâ€ in TRIZ and ASIT/ Enhancement of ASIT (ASIT+)
The relations between â€œthe 40 principlesâ€ [11,12] of TRIZ and ASIT  / Enhancement of ASIT (ASIT+) are shown in table 5.
Table 5 shows the following fact.
1. As compared with ASIT that covered 32 principles, Enhancement of ASIT (ASIT+) covers all â€œthe 40 principlesâ€. It may be said that â€œthe 40 principlesâ€ are reorganized into eight categories in Enhancement of ASIT (ASIT+).
2. The principles that ASIT does not cover are as follows.
Principle 26: Copying
Principle 27: Cheap short-living objects
Principle 28: Mechanics substitution
Principle 29: Pneumatics and hydraulics
Principle 30: Flexible shells and thin films
Principle 31: Porous materials
Principle 38: Strong oxidants
Principle 39: Inert atmosphere
The reason that ASIT eliminates these principles was shown in  . 
3. Newly added three tools cover the principles as follows. (See Note 1&2)
Function Removal Tool: 2
Object Replace Tool: 9
Uniform Attribute Change Tool: 12
The two principles involved in Function Removal Tool are the same as that of Object Removal Tool.
Among the nine principles involved in Object Replace Tool, eight principles are covered only in Enhancement of ASIT (ASIT+).
The twelve principles involved in Uniform Attribute Change Tool are nearly equal to that of Breaking Symmetry Tool. The differences are in â€œPrinciple 04: Asymmetryâ€, â€œPrinciple 07: Nested dollâ€ and â€œPrinciple 33: Homogeneityâ€.
We can easily understand the reason for these differences, which are shown as follows. â€œPrinciple 04:
Asymmetryâ€ and â€œPrinciple 07: Nested dollâ€ are apparently for Breaking Symmetry Tool and not for Uniform Attribute Change Tool. â€œPrinciple 33: Homogeneityâ€ is also apparently for Uniform Attribute Change Tool and not for Breaking Symmetry Tool.
I gave the outline of â€œstructure/function/attributeâ€. And I reconsidered the problem solving tools from the viewpoint of â€œsystem/process objectâ€ and â€œstructure/function/attributeâ€. On this basis I drew the outline of a tentative framework of â€œEnhancement of ASIT (ASIT +)â€. Afterwards related examination on the relations between â€œthe 40 principlesâ€ of TRIZ and ASIT/Enhancement of ASIT (ASIT+) was also given. It may be said that â€œthe 40 principlesâ€ of TRIZ were reorganized into eight categories in â€œEnhancement of ASIT (ASIT+)â€. The previous Issues [2,3] and this article formed a series of issues, which drew the basic outline of the problem solving tools or thinking tools to be discussed in future.
 The TRIZ journal, https://the-trizjournal.com/
 Takahara Toshio, â€œApplication Area of Thinking Tool or Problem Solving Toolâ€, The TRIZ journal, Jun.2003.
 Takahara Toshio, â€œHow People Interact with Objects Using TRIZ and ASITâ€, The TRIZ journal, Aug.2003.
 Takahara Toshio, â€œA Preparatory Study on the Model of Objectsâ€, Proceedings of the 1992 IEICE Autumn Conference, A-145, Sept.1992 (in Japanese).
 Takahara Toshio, â€œOn the Logic of Interaction between Objectsâ€, The 1993 IEICE and allied Inst. Kansai Section Convention Record, G8-12, Nov.1993 (in Japanese).
 Roni Horowitz, â€œFrom TRIZ to ASIT in 4 Stepsâ€, The TRIZ journal, Aug.2001.
 Roni Horowitz, â€œASITâ€™s Five Thinking Tools with Examplesâ€, The TRIZ journal, Sept.2001.
 Roni Horowitz, â€œIntroduction to ASITâ€, http://www.start2think.com/, Mar. 2003.
 Richard Kaplan, â€œASIT Compared to Scamper for Devising New Productsâ€, The TRIZ journal, Dec.2001.
 Nakagawa Toru, â€œCommentary on â€˜The Picture Hanging Kit Problemâ€™ â€, Source Reference: Ed Sickafus: â€œUnified Structured Inventive Thinking: How to Inventâ€, Ntelleck, pp. 403-442, 1997, http://www.osaka-gu.ac.jp/php/nakagawa/TRIZ/eTRIZ/epapers/eUSITE9Nakagawa010726/
eUSITE9Nakagawa010803.html, Jul.2001 [in Japanese] ; English translation by Nakagawa Toru, Aug. 2001.
 Genrich S. Altshuller, â€œ40 Principles: TRIZ Keys to Technical Innovationâ€, Translated by Lev Shulyak, Technical Innovation Center, Worcester, MA. 1998.
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About the Author
TAKAHARA Toshio received his B.E. degree in electric-communication engineering from Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan in 1968. He joined FUJITSU Limited where he mainly engaged in river management as a design engineer and a consultant. Before retiring an affiliated company of FUJITSU in 2002, he engaged in quality management concerning ISO9001 for a few years. In the study of quality management and design method at the affiliated company of FUJITSU, he met TRIZ in 2001.
His todayâ€™s interest includes culture theory, design method and problem solving tools.
His e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
His homepage URL: http://www.geocities.co.jp/WallStreet/2744/ (almost in Japanese)