The morphological approach, another normative technique, was developed by Fritz Zwicky, and involves a systematic evaluation of all possible combinations of solutions to individual parts of a whole system. In this analysis, the whole problem is broken down into parts which could be treated independently with several solutions to each part. The forecast is made on the combination of such solutions of each part to satisfy the desired objective of the whole system. In essence, morphological analysis and relevance tree could be considered as two faces of the same coin. `Relevance trees’ provides a hierarchical structure while `morphological model’ presents a parallel structure of the problem. In general any system or problem could be modelled either by a relevance tree or a morphological structure and the forecaster could choose the appropriate model depending on the problem on hand. For example, we break our solar car, previously referred to, into five independent components having a number of solutions for each as shown in 

Table -1 : Break up of Solar Car into Components 

Solar Panels


2 3
Electric Controls







Energy Source

Solar Cell

Storage Battery

Type of Storage


Primary Secondary

Fuel Cell

The various types of elements in `energy source’ and “types of storage battery” in morphological model show up as branches in the Relevance Tree in Table-1. Like the relevance tree solutions, once the required levels of functional capabilities are determined by morphological analysis, they could be utilised for forecasting a feasible and suitable configuration of a solar car, estimating the timeframe etc. by obtaining an exploratory forecast of each of the technologies involved in the elements. Note that the problem has 3x2x3x2x3=108 solutions of which some would be rejected immediately based on technological considerations. Systematic analysis would tell the forecaster which combinations of solutions of individual components would provide the desired satisfaction to meet the objective. 


Morphological analysis is a useful technique for stimulating the thinking process and allows examination of all combinations of alternatives to achieve the objective.


Morphological models can be used to identify requirements for individual technologies of a specific system, but cannot be used to obtain quantitative estimates of relative importance of various technological goals. This is a static model and is not suited to take care of systems that change with time or describe the logical sequence of events.

Table-1 shows a projection made in the early 1980s when scientists thought the limits to performance might occur – with performance measured as chip density (micro-electronics) or number of transistors per chip. Then it was projected that a natural limit will be reached in the 1990s as lithographic limits become near the resolution of light or x-ray diffraction limits. That this would happen by the turn of the century was the forecast in early eighties. It was anticipated that the limits of semi-conducting material technology might be found in a density of, a billion transistors per chip, called ULSI (ultra large scale integration). After IC2 came the LSI IC, then the VLSI IC, and finally the ULSI IC has been developed.

Technology S curve for Semiconductor chip industry 

Figure-1 : Technology S Curve for Semi-conductor Chip Density Progress…

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