Pattern 1. Mono-bi-poly transition of identical objects
This pattern describes system versions obtained by adding components which are either analogous to those already available in the system or new and which can perform additional useful functions.
If some system does not cope with its function, it would be logical to supplement it with one more similar system. Such a combined system is called bi-system. In addition to increased productivity, a double system can have absolutely new properties different from those of a single system, which often allows previously impossible operations to be performed.
“With one marker, you can outline everything in the world except this marker itself. With two markers, one can outline everything in the world.” This funny example shows how combining two systems into a new bi-system leads to the appearance of new capabilities. Combining is understood not only as mechanical combination of two systems. It rather means organizing their joint use for performing a required function.
The number of components that may be combined into a system is unlimited. The example may be a squadron composed of several war vessels under a single command. Such a system formation, poly- system, has much more capabilities than an equal number of ships not united into a system and acting independently.
Build-up of similar components of a system generally proceeds to some limit. Having reached the limit, there often occurs a transition from a poly-system having several similar components to a partially or fully trimmed mono-system of a higher level. Such a transition may be illustrated by a sailing vessel. The number of sails increased with the perfection of the vessel design. A five-mast vessel had more than fifty large and small sails, which were very difficult to control and required a well-trained crew. That continued till the advent of a steamship, when numerous masts and sails were replaced with a higher-level mono- system – a steam engine equipped with paddle wheels.
Arranging the system’s versions obtained by introducing new components in the order of expanding the system’s composition produces the “Mono-bi-poly” evolution pattern. The trend traced in the steps of this pattern shows a sequential build-up of identical (or very similar) components in the system. Introducing not only objects similar to those already available in the system, but any other necessary objects – carriers of new functions - may be considered as the development of the “Mon-bi-poly” pattern.
Adding new components is aimed at increasing the technical system productivity, reliability and technological process performance quality.
The initial version of the “Mono-bi-poly” pattern is some single object or system. Next steps may be:
introducing a single additional object,
introducing several additional objects,
transition to a higher-level mono-system.
It is generally implied that an object analogous to the one already available is introduced into a system. This, however, is not required. New objects, fields and forces performing additional functions may also be introduced into a system. The principal rule of system transformation according to this pattern is providing functional expansion of the system, getting a chance to better perform the system’s main function or some additional useful functions.
Example: street lamp.
A single lamp can illuminate a limited territory, for example, part of the roadway or sidewalk. A twin lamp illuminates both the roadway and the sidewalk. Large areas in town squares are illuminated with lamp comprising many lamps arranged in a circle, which are enough to create a large light spot. However, in any case the light spot size will be limited by a support span.
Sometimes it is necessary to illuminate a large territory but its size is not known in advance. Such situations may occur during natural calamities or technological catastrophes, industrial or man-made disasters. Continuing to follow this pattern by increasing the number of lamps requires a great many lamps which must be delivered to a needed region, installed and powered… This would take very much time and considerable expense.
Considering the “Mono-bi-poly” pattern, we can see that it ends with a transition to a super-system, to a higher-level “lantern”. In our case, it is a transition to a single high-power light source which is more effective for illuminating large areas. The illustration is a space solar mirror made of superfine light- reflective film. The mirror is launched to space and, if necessary, is oriented on some earth region which needs illumination.