|Introduction to Basic I-TRIZ|
Research of the world-wide patent fund and other sources of information about mankind's inventive achievements has revealed the following general pattern: Technological systems tend to evolve in the direction of increasing ideality. We can use the above pattern to define Ideality as the ratio of a system's Useful Functions to its Harmful Functions:
where Functions are defined as the activities, actions, processes, operations or conditions related to your system. (Ideality is a qualitative rather than quantitative estimation.)
A system's Useful Functions include the following:
A system's Harmful Functions include all harmful factors associated with the system: the cost to design it, the space it occupies, the noise it emits, the energy it consumes, the resources needed to maintain it, and so on.
In other words, systems become smaller, less costly, more energy efficient, pollute less, and so on.
Example: The first oil tanker had a load-to-weight ratio of 50/50% (oil cargo accounted for half the weight of the loaded tanker). Today's super-tankers have a ratio of 98/2%.