Flows come as fundamental construct in ValueFlows ontology. When put in chronological order, they form a progression:
- Intents which can lead to Commitments
- Commitments which can lead to Economic Events
On the process side, for example, a work plan could be an Intent, but a work plan that some agent committed to is a Commitment. Intent describes some potential future event which might require prior Commitment.
Commitments are "mirrors" of economic events, and economic events can fulfull commitments. Commitments can be considered contractual promises from one agent to another. Commitments describe potential future event which involved agents already agreed to pursuit.
Economic event describes past event, something already observed, never some potential future event.
Intents, Commitments, and Economic Events can occur at any granularity that is needed or for which data can be obtained. So they primarily are used for all operational needs, but can also be used at higher levels for analytical and high level planning needs for communities or regions, for example.