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Directed Evolutionô provides a means not only to predict but to direct future technological achievements in a given time frame with a specified level of support. Most of the innovations that will appear over the next 20 years will be based upon scientific and technological knowledge existing now. The difficulty lies in identifying what knowledge is of real significance. With hindsight, what seems obscure today will be remarkably clear tomorrow. The role of Directed Evolutionô is to evaluate today's knowledge systematically, thereby identifying what is achievable and, more particularly, how one technological advance, perhaps in conjunction with another, could fulfill a human need.

The Directed Evolutionô process shown below includes the following stages:

  1. Collection and analysis of the systemís past (including patent citations, published literature, etc.)

  2. DE diagnostics using the I-TRIZ methodology and tools

  3. Synthesis of ideas for system evolution

  4. Support the decision-making process and protect intellectual property

  5. Support the process of system evolution


Detailed description of each stage:


STAGE 1. Collection and analysis of the systemís past

  • Accumulate necessary data (through patent assessments, interviewing subject matter experts, reviewing related literature, etc.) about:

  • System structure, functionality, evolution of system functions, problems that have appeared over the system's evolution, etc.

  • The evolution of related and adjacent systems.

  • History of the main ideas associated with the system: discoveries, inventions, improvements, evolution of product lines, etc.

  • System resources, changes in resources as the system evolved, applicable new resources.

  • Problems and other obstacles regarding the production process and its evolution.

  • Present state and evolutionary history of applicable market sectors, user profiles, and customer expectations.

  • Present state and evolutionary history of related organizations (competitors, vendors, etc.).

  • Reveal positive and negative trends in the systemís evolution. Compare with general evolutionary patterns/lines to identify evolutionary deviations and disturbances.

STAGE 2. DE diagnostics. Utilize I-TRIZ tools in order to:

  • Analyze the historical data and compare it with known evolutionary patterns and lines in order to:

  • Build evolutionary lines for the system.

  • Determine the current evolutionary position of the system (S-curve analysis).

  • Reveal missed steps, future steps, wrong directions, dead ends, stalemates, functional deficiencies, unresolved contradictions, subsequent problems, customary inconveniences, psychological inertia, tunnel vision, unreasonable restrictions, etc.

  • Extrapolate the system's evolutionary lines into the future by:

  • Predicting the highly-probable future steps in system evolution

  • Defining the methods and conditions required to realize these steps

  • Defining the limitations for realizing these steps.

  • Formulate all problems and issues that must be addressed for this evolution to be realized, including:

  • Defining problems that must be solved to ensure that the system evolves in the desired direction.

  • Identifying system failures or dangers that might occur in the future.

STAGE 3. Synthesis of ideas

  • Generate ideas that will move the system to the next evolutionary step. These include ideas related to:

  • New functions, applications and markets for the system.

  • Providing the systemís function(s).

  • Preventing harmful or undesired effects associated with the system.

  • System production, delivery, usage, maintenance, etc.

  • Integrating the evolved system into various supersystems.

  • Address the inventive problems formulated in previous stages by using the IPS application.

STAGE 4. Support the decision-making process

  • Develop concepts for possible system evolution by:

  • Integrating compatible ideas into concepts, each of which represents a particular variant of system evolution.

  • Identifying concepts that are compatible, complementary, or incompatible.

  • Identifying short-term concepts (improvement), mid-term concepts (next generation), and long-term concepts (future generations)

  • Build potential evolutionary scenarios for the future by:

  • Formulating the goals for evolution and the strategy and sequence by which these goals will be achieved.

  • Developing an action plan.

  • Identifying the required resources.

  • Protecting intellectual property.

  • Introduce necessary corrections to the strategy and action plans, by:

  • Predicting potential obstacles and disturbances along the way.

  • Predicting negative results of actions taken and formulating associated subsequent tasks (secondary problems).

  • Solving new problems that are revealed.

  • Introducing appropriate changes to the evolutionary scenarios.

STAGE 5. Support the process of system evolution

  • Monitor the evolution of the system for possible deviations or changes in environment (demographics, social psychology, fashion, politics, economic conditions, etc.)

  • Search for and analyze new scientific discoveries and inventions in other areas that might relate to the system.

  • Identify and control critical points in the systemís evolution.

  • Analyze the planned versus actual results to reveal and predict deviations.

  • Solve inventive problems resulting from deviations (exploit deviations as inventive resources, neutralize deviations; compensate for deviations, or protect the system from deviations).

  • Integrate new solutions into the existing evolutionary scenarios.

  • Make corrections, refinements and adjustments to the DE scenarios should significant changes (breakthroughs) occur in applicable social, marketing or technological areas.

  • Update the DE recommendations as necessary, by reviewing basic concepts on a regular basis and introducing appropriate corrections.

  • Establish and/or maintain an infrastructure (including education) to support the DE process.

DE and the Patterns of Evolution


The Patterns of Evolution can be used to:

  • Predict the next evolutionary steps of a system.

  • Compare an invention to prior art.

Directed Evolutionô is based on the 12 Patterns of Evolution show above (which includes those discovered by TRIZ originator Genrich Altshuller) together with over 400 Lines of Evolution discovered by Zlotin and Zusman and their team. The DE process has been applied not only to products but to markets, industries, organizations, technologies, processes, and services.

See our published Directed Evolutionô CASE STUDY.

Evolution of the I-TRIZ
Directed Evolutionô (DE) Application

This site last updated 01/13/12
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