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Levels of changes. Ju.S.Murashkovsky

Levels of changes
The notion of “innovation” is inseparably connected with the notion of “change”. The invention or a discovery is the change of a prototype. However the value of this change could be different.
We shall analyze the changes according to two parameters. First we shall identify, at which rank of the systems the change has been introduced. When we analyze the changes in the airplane, we can mean innovations in aircraft construction as such, or we could talk about the changes in the design of a passenger’s armchair.
Besides, we shall discuss the value of deviation from the prototype even at one rank. To make a foldable armchair instead of an immobile one constitutes a much greater change than inserting an ashtray into an arm. 
Up the Down Staircase
Let us conventionally split the possible spectrum of changes into five ranges, five levels. And let us analyze them within three most important spheres of human activity – technology, science and art. In technology our analysis will be based on examples from aviation, computers and steam engine, in science – on examples from astronomy, nuclear physics and field theory, in art – on examples from easel painting, music and cinema.
Level of changes 5 (Synthesis).
The system acquires or forms a set of qualitatively new resources. A new branch of human activity is created.
5.1.   In technology – invention of a new branch of engineering (without any particular prototype):
5.1.1.      Invention of a flying machine, which is heavier than air (J.Stringfellow). As compared to the previous kinds of transport, the air is used as a support for the first time in history. The idea of aviation appeared. (11)
5.1.2.      Calculation-and-analysis complex of Gollerit. As compared to the previous mechanic designs of calculating devices electromagnetic principle (relay) was used for the first time. The idea of electronic calculation devices appeared. (2)
5.1.3.      Invention of a steam engine. As compared to the previous machine the non-alive source of energy was used for the first time in history. The idea of industrial manufacturing appeared. (15)
5.2.   In science – creation of a new paradigm, scientific thinking (there is no particular prototype):
5.2.1.      Celestial sphere, on which planets and stars are fastened. The analogy between the movement of celestial bodies and the terrestrial object – wheel was used for the first time. The science of astronomy appeared. (5)
5.2.2.      The model structure of atom set forth by Rutherford. For the first time in history the analogy between the atom structure and the solar system was used. A new branch of physics appeared – nuclear physics. (38)
5.2.3.      The notion of “field” (invisible entity, which translates the action at a distance). For the first time the idea of non-material object was used for translating the action. A new branch of physics appeared – field theory. (19)
5.3.   In art – this is a rather formidable change, invention of a new kind of art or of a new genre (there is no particular prototype):
5.3.1.      Invention of canvas and picture frame. For the first time in history a plane with a frame is used for depicting objects. Easel painting appeared. (8)
5.3.2.      Introduction of music as a constant element of drama. Integration of drama with music is used for the first time (both instrumental and vocal music is meant). The genre of opera appeared. (35)
5.3.3.      Invention of principle of moving pictures with shifted phases of motion. A complex of pictures, quickly substituting one another, for depicting the motion of the objects, is used for the first time. A new kind of art – cinema – is invented. (31)
Level of changes 4 (deployment).
The system completely embraces the entire volume of the new complex of resources. In particular, the effects are used, which are characteristic of the new resource. The branch of activity remains, but it is fundamentally changed.
4.1.   In technology – invention of a new principle of functioning of an engineering system (the prototype is the previous principle of functioning of the same system):
4.1.1.      The airplane wing has a cross-section, which has the shape of a drop of water. In the airplane of Stringfellow the wing was flat. The air, as a support, remains, but for the first time the turn of an airflow was used for the generation of lifting power. (1)
4.1.2.      Digital summator of Stiebitz. Electromagnetic principle remains, but for the first time electric signal is used for performing arithmetic calculations. (20, 13)
4.1.3.      Invention of a sliding valve – a device, which returns the piston (cylinder) in its initial position. With previous steam engines it was necessary to wait until the cylinder gets cooled. (30)
4.2.   In science – creation of improved new model, which eliminates the main gaps in the new paradigm (the prototype is the source paradigm):
4.2.1.      Several celestial spheres for each planet and stars. Analogy with the wheel remains, but an individual “wheel” is used for each planet. (4)
4.2.2.      The notion of stationary orbits for electrons, on which they don’t emit and don’t absorb energy. Planetary model remains, but the character of orbits is fundamentally changed. (28)
4.2.3.      Structure of field is force lines. The idea of the field remains, but for the first time its structure is proposed. (19)
4.3.   In art – invention of a new type of expressive means (the prototypes for such inventions are previous types of expressive means within the same genre or kind of art):
4.3.1.      Non-linear painting (painting through application of spots of color without any delineation). Before that a necessary element of painting was the contour, initially delineated in advance. The idea of depicting objects on the plane remained, but the pictures themselves, due to rejection of contour, became more “lively”. (24)
4.3.2.      Enriching the opera with principles of polyphony, duets, choire. The idea of musical-and-drama performance remained, but the structure of the musical component changed fundamentally. (35)
4.3.3.      Film editing (prior to that cinematography was oriented at “one-seqience stories”). The idea of changing pictures remained, but for the first time part of the plot is not directly demonstrated on the screen, while the spectator has to “reconstruct” it independently. (34)
Level of changes 3 (adaptation or general accommodation).
The system fuller uses the already absorbed or formed resources due to restructuring them. In particular, the effects are used, which are compatible with the new resource. The branch of activity is not changed. But the main subsystems are changed fundamentally.
3.1.   In technology – this is a fundamental change of one subsystem of the source engineering system (previous subsystem is used as a prototype):
3.1.1.      Wing flaps – moveable part of the wing, intended for regulating the height of the flight. (33)
3.1.2.      Substituting relays with electronic lamps. The rate of machine functioning increased. (20)
3.1.3.      Moveable fastening of the piston’s axle (crank-and-rod mechanism) yielded a possibility to obtain revolution motion. (14)
3.2.   In science – hypothesis or a private theory, coordinating the paradigm with a particular observation or result of the experiment (the prototype is the preceding explanation of these results):
3.2.1.      Additional spheres (epicycles) for each planet yielded an opportunity to explain the retrogressive movement of planets. (12)
3.2.2.      Additional orbits (orbitals) for different groups of electrons yielded an opportunity to explain the phenomenon of valence. (6)
3.2.3.      Explain the propagation of the field in the form of crosswise oscillations yielded an opportunity to explain the phenomenon of light polarization. (23)
3.3.   In art – this is the invention of a particular means of expression or a fundamentally new use of already known means (the prototypes are previous means of expression of the same type):
3.3.1.      In order to enhance the impression of movement, Leonardo da Vinci in his painting “Lady with a Weasel", and then in "Mona Lisa" introduces hands besides the face. And the “action” of the hands does not coincide with the “action” of the character portrayed. (16)
3.3.2.      Introduction of intoning in opera singing. (35)
3.3.3.      In the films about war the killed fall down, performing revolution movements. In the film “The Cranes are Flying” this is not the character who is rotating, but the landscape around him. (21)
Level 2 (Idioadaptation or particular accomodation).
The system restructures itself in a minor way, in order to fully use the already absorbed or formed resources without restructuring them. Minor subsystems, which are of no fundamental value, change.
2.1.   In technology – these are non-fundamental changes in subsystems, which make the operation or manufacturing easier (the prototype is the previous variant of the same subsystem):
2.1.1.      Transition from screw fastenings to riveting in the assembly of airplanes – it made the assembly easier and contributed to the decrease in the airplane’s weight. (The invention of riveting proper is the change of level 4. however the use of already invented riveting to assembly of airplanes relates to level 2.)
2.1.2.      Use of a “mouse” to make the control over a computer more comfortable. (10, 7)
2.1.3.      Holes in hinge joints for the sake of lubrication convenience – it yielded an opportunity to spare the lubricant.
2.2.   In science – this is refinement of explanation (the prototype is the previous explanation, which was a little bit less exact):
2.2.1.      Introduction of epicycles of second and third order – it yielded an opportunity to do some minor refinement of the trajectories of the planets’ motion. (37)
2.2.2.      Arrangement of electrons on orbits in pairs – it yielded an opportunity to coordinate the ideas of chemists and physicists concerning the motion of electrons. (22)
2.2.3.      Refinement of arrangement of frequencies, characterizing the oscillations of electromagnetic field throughout the entire spectrum – it made the calculations of energy of electromagnetic radiation easier. (29)
2.3.   In art – these are non-fundamental changes of already known means of expression, in particular, substitution of “material” without the substitution of structure (the prototype is the previous means of expression):
2.3.1.      The picture “Leda” by Reissner is different from the picture of the same title by P.-P.Rubens by non-fundamental changes in postures of Leda and the swan. The character of the pictures is practically the same.
2.3.2.      The first author of Russian operas – Italian composer Kavos wrote his operas in the style of Singspiel , which was popular at that time and which took the form of vaudevilles with arias, consisting of couplets and dialogue performing the part of recitation. Only the orchestration of Kavos was more sonorous and was richer than with his predecessors... (32)
2.3.3.      Film studio “Fathom Studios” is planning to start a legal procedure, in which James Cameron, creator of “Avatar” will probably be accused of plagiarism. The directors of the studio stick to the opinion that the video-sequence of “Avatar”, demonstrated in the trailer, which was released recently, is very much like the video-sequence of three-dimensional animated film “Delgo”, which was created by Fathom Studios in 2008 (3)
Level 1(regress).
“Cosmetic” changes. Nothing is changed in the functioning of the system, but the convenience of using it is somewhat enhanced.
1.1.   In technology – these are insignificant changes in non-fundamental subsystems (the prototypes are the same subsystems prior to introduction of these changes):
1.1.1.      In the 1980-ies the company Western stopped to dye their airplanes – the treatment of surfaces was smooth enough. It somewhat decreased the weight of the airplanes and contributed to the reduction in fuel consumption. (18)
1.1.2.      Personal computer IBM. As compared to the prototypes the power is somewhat increased due to simple increase in the size of transistors, and the modular design is used. All this did not change the principles of computer functioning and of the operation of its main subsystems. (17)
1.1.3.      Placing a tray under the engine – it yielded an opportunity to reuse the lubricant.
1.2.   In science – these are explanations of individual minor phenomena, which are not integrated into a common system (ad hoc and “linguistic explanations”):
1.2.1.      Ptolemy refined the distance to celestial spheres, which somewhat enhanced the accuracy in the prediction of planets’ movement. (9)
1.2.2.      Orbitals and electron pairs got their denotation, which made the calculations easier. (22)
1.2.3.      Sections of spectrum of electromagnetic radiation were subdivided and got their names. (29)
1.3.   In art –these are very small, “cosmetic” changes, occurring in the repetition of already known means of expression (prototype – successful means of expression of other authors):
1.3.1.      Pictures of the same title: “Leda” by Cesare de Cesta and Leonardo da Vinci are practically identical and are different only through minor details of the background.
1.3.2.      In 18th century Italy any copyist of music considered it to be his obligation to compose two or three operas. As a result ther operas were identical to such an extent, as if they were twins. (35)
1.3.3.      The admirers of space saga accuse Jay Jay Abrams, director of the new film “Star Track” of plagiarism. Everyone says that he simply copied “Star Wars”, without introducing even the smallest changes into the plot of the movie. (39)
We shall emphasize that, evaluating the scale of changes, it should be born in mind, what rank the analyzed system has. Embedding an ashtray into the arm of an armchair significantly changed the central part of the arm. But in relation to the airplane this change is negligible.
The Roads we Take
If we compare the levels of changes in terms of tasks, which they fulfill, it becomes evident that they could be subdivided into three obviously different groups.
Changes of level 5 (group I or synthesis group) create fundamentally new systems based on the use of the new, heretofore unused resource. The air as a support for transport; presence or absence of current in the circuit for recording elementary information; phase transition of water for generating great forces – all these are examples of enginewering resources. Changes relating to this group open a new operation principle, however, don’t yet create a workable system.
Changes of levels 4-3 (group II or development group) develop the system adapting it to a better, more complete use of new resource. Generation of lifting power due to the difference in pressure value above and under the wing, use of the turn of airflows for increase in controllability of the airplane; the use of electric effects in thin crystal films, creating a continuous controlling signal; separating an evaporation part from the condensing one, broadening of kinds of motion due to geometric effects – all this is a fuller use of opportunities of a new resource. Changes of this group make new system workable, but they don’t create a consumer goods, which is highly consumable.
Changes of levels 2-1 (group III or consumption group) are directed not at the system evolution, but on the enhancement of the level of demand for it, increase of consumers’ value. The system gets accommodated not to the resource, but to the consumer. The convenience of assemblage, some minor decrease in fuel consumption, an opportunity to perform the action not through the movement of the entire hand, but using one finger only; convenience of operation and minor economy of lubricant – all this is not related to the main resource, however enhances the “usability” of the system. Changes of this group convert a workable system into a broadly consumable goods.
It could be noted that the very invention of the airplane by Stringfellow was aimed at the creation of marketable goods. However, it was not merely a marketable goods, but the long-term plans of converting an idea into marketable goods. We are talking about the results of particular change. Changes of levels 5 and 4 don’t immediately yield a well-sold goods. Changes of level 3 are at the boundary of “goods” and “non-goods”. Changes of levels 2 and 3 are immediately embodied in the goods.
Interrelations between the levels of changes within the system and “usability” of this system could be illustrated with a qualitative diagram. Let us emphasize that this is not a curve, allowing to perform calculations. This is but a conventional illustration, which is of value only in the most general sense. In each particular case there can be deviations from this diagram, which, nevertheless, don’t change its character.
Fig. 1. Diagram of interrelation of contributions to development and to consumption.
Since the value of system “usability” cannot be measured by us, we had to present it in the form of the reaction of a conventional generalized consumer:
A –It’s horrible!
B –There is something in it...
C –Good!
D –Just wonderful!
E – Mass popularity, though the users start to get vexed at that.
The diagram enables us to see that the higher the level of changes within the system, the lower the usability of obtained system. And just the opposite, the systems, obtained as a result of low level changes, have high usability. Stringfellow airplane could probably carry several grams of weight at a distance of several dozen meters. The first airplane of Wright brothers carried one human in an uncomfortable position at a distance of several hundred meters. Modern airplanes can comfortably carry hundreds of people and dozens tons of weight at any distances of planetary scale. However, the main principles were laid down by Stringfellow and brothers Wright.
Changes of group III, directed at the increase in usability, are inescapably secondary. They are impossible without the “non-usable” changes of group I. Thus, modern airplanes, at bottom, are improved variants of Stringfellow and brothers Wright airplanes.
At the same time changes of level 5 don’t depend upon the changes in group III in preceding systems. Improvements of locomotive or a carriage did not lead to the invention of an airplane.
People who Take the Roads
As we have seen already, changes of group I, group II and group III are of different nature. And it means that different mental procedures are required from the human, in order to implement these changes.
Changes of group III require broad knowledge in a certain professional field and in the fields, which are close to it, as well as an ability to construct particular analogies, to transfer solutions from one field to another one, which is not too far. These techniques are taught in high-class educational institutions. 
Changes of group II require not only professional knowledge, but also an ability to permanently solve problems, construct ideal models, work with Substance-and-Field resources. These methods are taught by TRIZ.
An opportunity to introduce changes of group I stably, within the scope of permanent production requires special features of thinking. This is an ability to construct general analogies, which are far from prototype, the ability to single out an elementary model, ability to think ontogenetically and philogenetically simultaneously, ability to operate with multitudes and statistical multitudes and a number of other features. During the last years active research of these properties is being performed and the opportunities of teaching these skills are also being studies. (26, 25, 27)
It is known that the evolution of systems within historical time flows with an acceleration. Modern systems, especially engineering ones, already exhaust their life cycle during several years. After that they are substituted by essentially new systems.
However the time, required fir the change of level 5 to get augmented with the necessary changes of levels 4-3 and become a workable system, and for the system to become a marketable goods using the changes of levels 2-1, remains fairly long. Therefore such situations are quite frequent, when an old system exhausts the opportunities of idioadaptation, and the goods either looses popularity or satiates the market. While a fundamentally new system, which is able to substitute the old one, is not ready yet. That is, for example, the case with photocameras. Now the main tendency is the improvement of picture quality, convenience of selecting the angle of shooting, integration of photocamera with other devices, etc. however, a new principle of photography has not yet been invented. (36)
In order to provide for continuity of production of new systems, it is necessary to start the development of changes of groups I and II long before the direct necessity for them appears. Nowadays it is understood that it is necessary to train specialists, who are able to perform changes of the second group. TRIZ training becomes more widely spread. Now it is necessary to pay attention to training specialists, who can stably develop the changes of group I. 
  1. Innovations are comparable in terms of value of changes within the system. 5 levels of such changes are proposed.
  2. These changes could be united into three groups: group of synthesis, group of development and group of consumption.
  3. Each system develops from the changes of level 5 to changes of level 1. Fundamentally new inventions appear independently upon the changes of lower levels in previous systems.
  4. Changes of levels 5, 4-3 and 2-1 are of different nature. Level 5 opens a new kind of resource, levels 4-3 adapt the system for the best use of this resource, levels 2-1 adapt the system for maximum profits as a result of sales.
  5. Inventions of levels 2-1 could be created by persons, who have an ordinary engineering background (or common scientific or art background). Inventions of levels 4-3 could be created by persons, who apart from having professional knowledge also have taken TRIZ training courses. Inventions of level 5 could be stably created by persons, who are trained in features of creative (talented) thinking.
  6. The systems develop with acceleration. Full life cycle of the system gets dramatically decreased. In order to provide for continuity of manufacturing of new systems, having consumer property, already now it is necessary to train specialists, who can stably create inventions of level 5.
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