From the Locus Model to Functional Coordinates™: "Location"

Functional Information System (FIS) applications have the potential to revolutionize the study of economic data in the same way that Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have for the study of geographic data. And just like how geographic coordinates are widely included in data sets, Locus believes that Functional Coordinates™ will become indispensable to data analysis.

Every data entity in a GIS is tagged with geographic coordinates so that geography can be used as an index not only to relate non-geographic attributes across entities, but also to measure physical proximities and other spatial phenomena across the data. Similarly, every data entity in a FIS is tagged with Functional Coordinates™ so that function can be used as an index not only to relate non-functional attributes across entities, but also to measure functional proximities and other functional phenomena across the data.

The Locus Model that underpins FIS applications is a systems model that identifies the universal parts of all economic systems, i.e. anything that produces a product. Because the Locus Model comprehensively describes all components and processes of economic systems, its language can also be used to tag all actors within the global economy.

Locus’s classification system builds upon the Locus Model. This extension starts by recognizing that given an economic system, its parts (as described by the Locus Model) are themselves products of other economic systems. What’s more, its product will become parts of other systems. For example, machines bought to produce cotton t-shirts do not cease to be relevant once bought, but rather become critical to the t-shirt production company as an essential resource for producing its product. The product of that t-shirt production company then becomes a part of the wearer’s economic system. The function of the product is what differentiates the economic system that produced it, and we can use that product’s functional location in the Model as a proxy for the whole system’s functional location. Because the Locus Model is coordinate-based, the language constitutes a coordinate system that can be used to organize all economic agents.

Locus describes businesses’ role in the greater economy using the same language above used to describe the inner workings of a business. For example, "3.1" describes the activity where a business sells its product, and "E" describes the energy resources of a business. When used to describe a role in the greater economy, "3.1 E" would describe a business that sells food, like a grocery store or a restaurant. We call this expression a locus because it locates the business within the broader commercial universe.

We can use the Locus Model more broadly than a single locus to tag, characterize, and relate function across an economy. When entities are tagged with Locus coordinates, we take into consideration many types of functional information associated with an entity. We take this broad set of functional information and record it in a Functional Barcode™. The Functional Barcode is a snippet of the complex network of economic interactions oriented around a given economic entity and as a result is a useful tool to identify and understand economic agents and their role within the economy.