The work on Madison, Wisconsin, was done by Richard U. Ratcliff in the early 1950s and was a study of functional change in what he called the Madison Central Business Area. A logical extension of this thinking is that the central retail district ultimately will decline in volume of business and in land values. The alternative hypothesis is that the peripheral growth of retail facilities is merely in proportion to the population increase and spatial expansion of our urban areas. Ratcliff's research addressed itself to the problem of testing the validity of the alternative interpretations. The technique of functional analysis starts with an examination of the types of retail outlets represented in the central area and a classification of these use-types. As Ratcliff points out in the summary of his Madison study, such offices have done much to sustain central business districts against the competition of suburban shopping centers.