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Link to this page. MLA Style "Trade-off. In YourDictionary. All rights reserved. Noun plural tradeoffs An advantage or improvement that necessitates the corresponding loss or degradation of something else. Improved graphics at the expense of battery life was a tradeoff the designers were willing to make. Contact us at: contact games4sustainability.
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Skip to content. Natural Capital Project. Authors welcome small contributions to our game development program, but share materials for free. Gameboards print on large-format sheets , gamepieces, scoring sheets. The two should be accepted as equal, with no bias towards either being accepted as a solution to the dialectic argument.
It may be, and often is, advantageous that the dialectic is not resolved to a unique solution but that the argument leads to better understanding of the variables which allow movement between the thesis and its opposite in response to prevailing selection pressures. For instance, an organism can change its physiology in response to hormonal mediation of environmental changes as when growth or reproduction synchronises with annual changes in temperature and day length.
The Hegelian concept of the dialectic is or was widely taught in continental Europe. Genrich Altshuller, a Russian engineer and inventor from Tashkent, used this concept when developing one of the early techniques of TRIZ 9 which he called the Contradiction Matrix. In a lengthy study of several thousand patents, Altshuller drew up a list of 39 characteristic factors which are named Engineering Parameters that might affect the performance of an engineering machine, material or structure.
From this list, one selects two parameters which, taken together, define the problem under investigation, a process that Heraclitus would have recognised.
This can be restated as a trade-off between resisting greater force or changing the supporting shape. An example where the shape-change option was successful is the bridge over Auckland harbour, where two extra carriageways were added outboard of the existing ones.
In this form the problem, now defined in a neutral and objective manner, becomes generalised such that other problems already solved, which can be defined in the same way, can offer strong solutions. However, up to a point, the system works.
How innovation in government can break trade-offs and improve services | Deloitte Insights
The matrix therefore defines just over problems, and the body of the matrix is populated with relevant principles according to the combination of thesis and antithesis intersecting at that point. A matrix with the same items on each of the two axes might be expected to be symmetrical about the diagonal. But the Contradiction Matrix is unusual in that in the format originally conceived, the dimensions represent positive vertical dimension and negative horizontal dimension factors.
Thus, the two dimensions of the matrix are significantly interchangeable and the differentiation between thesis and antithesis is clouded. In at least half the cases, it appears that the Inventive Principles are not suggesting ways in which a problem can be solved, so much as how the Pareto front might be navigated.
Deb 3 reasoned that this will produce a better solution to a problem, since it allows context to be used in making the choice. Deb also pointed out that it is easier to identify the correct parameters in the presence of a number of Pareto-optimal solutions. This makes the choice of solution far less subjective, since in the TRIZ model, the choice of parameter can be subjective and the suggested solution can be very sensitive to this choice. In a pragmatic approach to such sensitivity, the TRIZ protocol suggests choosing a number of closely related parameters to see which principles are most frequently suggested.
This is akin to the process detailed in choosing principles for resolving a trade-off see below. Corresponding squares on each side of the diagonal were compared and scored for the similarity of Inventive Principles which they recommended. The total number of principles in each of the two squares was compared with the number which was different.
The data are presented as cumulative, with a total of pairs of squares some of the squares in the matrix are unpopulated being compared. The fact that both parameters and principles are expressed in general terms e. Thus, the Contradiction Matrix can be used as a way of categorising trade-offs in biology, with biological principles enumerating the ways in which the trade-offs can be resolved or manipulated. Yet both the parameters and the principles are rooted in engineering. It is easy to store all this information in a database, and to a certain extent this has to happen.
Such things as materials, specific trade-offs, principles which solve specific trade-offs, organs and tissues of animals and plants and so on can all be listed. But information is not the same as knowledge. The process of generating useful knowledge starts by creating data from published sources, which can be done automatically using text analysis.
It is important to use information from peer-reviewed publications mostly published in science journals. Sources such as books, television programmes and films are not reliable, yet unwisely they have been used to generate biomimetic data; in fact, even scientific papers are not totally reliable and should be treated with care.
The data so created i. A database represents the simplest and shortest path to measurable outcomes, but not necessarily to valuable ones. If an item is not present in the database, it is deemed not to exist. The description that an ontology generates assumes an open world. It thus can deal with things which are unknown and can readily accommodate new information. This makes it particularly useful for the description of the understanding of the perceived reality and thus for the description of science. There is still a gap between information and knowledge.
This is crossed using two transformations: abstraction essentially, removing context and connectivity associating items using expressions of logic. There is knowledge now — information in a useful context — presented as an ontology. Ontologies derive in large part from the thinking of philosophers, starting with Aristotle. For biologists this is an essential but only partly realised goal.
Connectivity of the items in that vocabulary is more easily obtained since computers can be programmed to deal with the logical web of reasoning that the ontologist creates. Both these requirements emphasise the clear and accurate expression of ideas and objects and their relationships.
The main continuants are objects, which exist in the absence of any other characteristics. They are therefore independent of those characteristics. However, they have descriptors of one sort or another, such as size, colour, mechanical properties and inbuilt tendencies. These descriptors would not exist without the objects they describe, and so they are dependent continuants.
In this ontology, the objects are animals and plants and the things of which they are composed. Although they have a hierarchy e. Other objects included are structures made by animals, chemical components and artificial components and organisms arranged as a formal taxonomy.
The taxa have their characteristics e.
The continuants are arranged in classes for ease of handling. Figure 4 General structure of the ontology. The rectangles represent classes of BFO; the ovals are classes of biomimetic ontology. Only the latter contains information. BFO provides a common framework for ontologies in general. Not all the classes are shown. The ontology is based on the concept of the trade-off, which is defined using the method of the TRIZ Contradiction Matrix.
The 39 Engineering Parameters are descriptors of the objects, and so they are dependent continuants. They describe and define physical, geometric, positive and negative properties of the objects. They have been modified from the TRIZ originals which are solely relevant to technology to give them relevance to biology.
The ontology in its present condition derives its information from some cases, each one taken from a research paper which defines and solves at least partially a trade-off. The cases cover all aspects of biology, from genetics and the molecular structure of materials through to ecosystems and behaviour.
This paper will then describe the nature of the trade-off and the mechanism s behind its resolution or manipulation. These mechanisms are the means of change or adaptation, and so they are events which occur in time — that is, they are occurrents. Once again, these principles have been adapted and reformatted to accommodate principles of biological control and change.
In addition to identifying a trade-off and its resolution, a case is annotated with any taxa which are involved, plus the abstract of the source paper and its origin. The cases therefore provide the information necessary for the ontology to work. The objects are the biological things or entities which interact with each other and establish the context of the trade-offs; the parameters define the trade-off as the starting point for possible change; and the principles suggest the processes which can lead to resolution or control of the trade-off.
Since the cases are not an intrinsic part of the ontology, they are not listed within the BFO schema. The Inventive Principles also serve as a list of functions that can be assigned to biological objects. Thus, it is possible to identify biological structures that can serve as instances of various functions.
The tube foot of an echinoderm is both a deployable structure principle: dynamism and a closed hydraulic dynamic effector principle: pneumatics and hydraulics. Another deployable structure — the proboscis of lepidopterous insects, uses surface-tension forces to move a liquid surface-tension effect in the principle: counterweight. The ontology is of little use if one cannot extract information from it. Several Engineering Parameters can be used on each side of the definition of the trade-off, perhaps in juxtapositions which do not actually occur among the cases providing the information.
The first three parameters concern attributes related to accuracy was it measured accurately? Each of these parameters is separately assessed. Use of logical AND ensures that both halves of the query have to be present for the response to be triggered.