Value accounting system

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Published on April 29, 2011, edited by Tibi, Kurt, Ishan, Ian, Francois, and Steve. See original doc, last modified on Oct 14, 2012 before content was moved here.
Work on the value system is hosted on github. We are using REA (for Resources, Events and Agents) designed by Bill McCarthy of Michigan State University (See more on Bill McCarthy’s website). See a prototype HERE.

See Screenshots of the new Value Accounting System of SENSORICA

See latest demo video March 2014.

See all pages in the category Value_Accounting_System_(VAS)


The value accounting system (VAS) deals with the creation and transformation of value in the context of a commons-based peer production system. At the network level, it describes transformation and flow of value. At the product level, it describes amalgamation of value into something.

Different types of value are identified, different types of contributions are recorded, these contributions are evaluated and a value equation is used to turn them into fluid equity. The value created is attributed to its creators.

The VAS is NOT a currency, it is not a system of value exchange. It keeps track of how contributions amalgamate into something like products, services, infrastructure, social goods, etc. It keeps a record of who is doing what (role), how well (reputation) and how much (value) in a particular project. Its output is a normalized distribution of fluid equity for a particular project, which helps redistribute benefits. If exchange value is created and exchanged on the market, the VAS help redistribute the revenue.

The VAS reappropriates labor, which is a major departure from capitalism. In capitalism, labor becomes a commodity. In a corporation for example, the worker exchanges his labor against wage. This transaction dispossesses the worker of the fruits of his own labor. In other words, the owner of capital owns the value created by all workers. The VAS allows peers to turn their labor into fluid equity and thus to own the future revenue generated from the products they co-produce.

The VAS embodies tangible/extrinsic incentives. It allows redistribution of benefits to participants in projects. Moreover, the VAS incentivizes collaboration by reducing the risk. If someone creates a project and asks for collaboration but there is no documentation, no sharing of designs, or R&D processes, or of recipes (manufacturing script with bill of materials), other affiliates of the OVN might grow reluctant to participate, because the project becomes too dependent on its initiator or main facilitator. If this affiliate leaves the OVN, no one can continue the work. Therefore, past investment is lost or eventual benefits are delayed. Proper documentation and logging into VAS reduces the risk for investment (in time, $, materials, and other), because it insures continuity of the project incase the initiator or main facilitator leaves.

About value[edit]

See more on Value

Interpretations of the VAS[edit]

The interpretation of the actual version of the VAS is not settled yet.

VAS and actual value[edit]

Supposes that VAS contains actual value, or things that already have value. For example, resources like a microscope, or a table in a lab has value, therefore it must be logged into the system.

VAS and potential of value[edit]

{Contact Tibi for more, proposed in a discussion about Social capital}

One can argue that nothing logged in VAS has value a priori. A prototype that someone physically assembles today and is logged in VAS and linked to different types of contributions (time, $, etc,) can end up never being used by the community, never cited, entirely forgotten. One way to see it is that something has value if it finds its way into other things. But nothing has a priori value, no matter how tangible or real it is. We can legitimately use an interpretation according to which VAS is only about potentials. Nothing has been marketed with value in SENSORICA's VAS until now. It only contains logged contributions connection. According to this new interpretation of VAS we can say that things that are already linked together, these things that are used/consumed/cited in other things, have some value or are in the process of acquiring value. In other words, value in the system becomes actualized when resources (created through contributions) are linked together, value is actualized by the edges of the network of resources. But to quantify further (it's always a relative quantity set in comparison with other things) we need another process, and a part of that is subjective.

General layout of the value accounting system[edit]


As developed by Bob and Lynn, in collaboration with Tibi, Francois and other SENSORICA affiliates.

OVN-OS stands for Open Value Network Operating System.

Other ways to refer to it are: Open Value Network infrastructure (OVNi), Network Resource Planning (NRP), of simply Value Accounting System (VAS).

Contributions log[edit]

The contributions log system assists affiliates in recording/logging contributions. One expects rewards (revenues) after the value creation process, after efforts have been deployed. Fair redistribution of revenue, in proportion to everyone’s contribution, which arrives at a time in the future, requires information on past contributions, risk levels, etc.. It is very important to record enough information about involvement, participation, contributions, even before formalizing the revenue redistribution scheme.

Contributions can be time (which is complemented by a description of activities/tasks performed), money (spent on a particular project), a virtual or physical space (for a given activity within a given project), materials (including tools/instruments), access to resources or to the market (using social capital), etc.

Contributions have quantities AND qualities associated with them.

The contribution log system is organized to map formal projects that have a direct path to market, i.e. resulting in products/services that will be exchanged on the market and generate revenues. Revenue and acknowledgement are extrinsic incentives. The value system also contains other categories/projects which don't have a traced path to a particular market. These are exploratory projects or passion-driven projects (see section on Integrating a gift economy within a value network).

Read about SENSORICA's first contribution log system.

See the second version, the actual prototype in testing. This prototype will evolve very rapidly this year.

Evaluation of contributions[edit]

How different types of contributions are evaluated. This system has an objective part, which relies on some metrics, and a subjective part, which relies on negotiation. See more on The evaluation system

Back office catalog[edit]

Assigns value to deterministic, recurrent back office tasks. See the Back office catalog page.

(for continuous contributions)

Amalgamation of value[edit]

Describes how different types of contributions are amalgamated into a single deliverable. The output is the fluid equity piechart.

The Value Equation[edit]

Describes how evaluated contributions are turned into fluid equity. See the The Value Equation page.

Solidarity mechanisms[edit]

Pay dead ends or mistakes, bring in the main value stream other contributions.

Solidarity mechanisms are part of the open-value network to ensure two unique aspects: compassion and distribution of risk. Compassion is an important part of human-collaboration and therefore, the network provides insurance mechanism for its members based on the members’ reputation. In addition to compassion, solidarity mechanisms are used to partially reward for unavoidable failures in order to create higher levels of trust and knowledge base within the network; these failures include: process inadequacy, task challenge, process complexity, uncertainty, hypothesis testing, and exploratory testing.[52] The network governance determines the decisions on the implementation of solidarity mechanisms.


See the Project page.

Value transfer between projects[edit]

See the Value transfer between projects page

VAS simulator[edit]

Allows value network affiliates to plan their contributions. This engine uses history to predict fluid equity once the project reaches maturity and generates revenue. Affiliates can use it to decide how to allocate their resources across different projects, in order to optimize their investments, to mitigate their risk, etc.

The VAS simulator also intervenes in the Project and task management system. For every available task it estimates the fluid equity once the project reaches maturity and generates revenue. This acts as a direct incentive for affiliates to take the task, knowing the impact is will have on their future revenue, and the risk associated with it (see discussion).

Install a VAS[edit]

Open VAS github

Open Lynn's guide to install a VAS

Network of networks[edit]

See the Network of Networks page.


See SENSORICA's Google-based value accounting system

See SENSORICA's new value accounting system

External links[edit]

P2P_Accounting on p2p foundation