- Prepared by:
- Department of Economics
- Iowa State University
- Ames, Iowa 50011-1070
tesfatsi at iastate.edu
ACE Website Homepage
Appended below are news items that might be of use to researchers
interested in Agent-based Computational Economics (ACE), the computational
study of economic processes modeled as dynamic systems of interacting agents.
These ACE news notes provide a sample selection of the new materials that have been included at the
since the last preparation of news notes.
These summary ACE news notes are prepared as time permits and are posted at the ACE website.
Whenever news notes are ready
for posting, a brief announcement giving a pointer to this
posting is emailed to all participants in a moderated announcements-only
Majordomo ACE news list. If you would like to subscribe to (unsubscribe
from) this moderated announcements-only ACE news list, please send an email message to
with the following message in the email body:
with your actual email address in place of youremailaddress. For more
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Activities related to agent-based computational modeling in economics and related fields are ballooning rapidly. To keep up, I have begun to post items of more permanent interest directly to the ACE website as they come in rather than collecting them for later batched postings.
In particular, major updates have been made to the following specific sites at the ACE website since the last release of the ACE news notes:
The news notes below are a selective sampling of the changes at the above sites rather than a comprehensive report of new postings.
George Akerlof and Robert J. Shiller, Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism, Princeton University Press, 2009.
- Note: A short summary of the theme of this book, which provides the essence of George Ackerlof's 2009 T. W. Schultz Memorial Address at the 2009 ASSA meeting in San Francisco in January 2009, can be obtained
- W. Brian Arthur, The Nature of Technology: What it is and How it Evolves, Simon & Schuster, Free Press, August 2009.
- Preview (from the author): "In the last few years I have become deeply fascinated with technology and how it evolves. Technology creates our modern world and our modern economy and its evolution—innovation—drives all our hopes for the future. Yet we do not understand technology or innovation at all well—there is no "-ology of technology." These challenges intrigue me. I am currently writing a book, The Nature of Technology, that will look deeply into technology and its innovation. It will argue that all technologies share certain principles; these determine the character of technology and how novel technologies come into being—and hence how innovation works."
- Shu-Heng Chen, "Computational Intelligence in Agent-Based Computational Economics", Chapter (pp. 517-594) in Computational Intelligence: A Compendium, SpringerLink Book Series, Studies in Computational Intelligence, Volume 115/2008, Springer-Berlin/Heidelberg.
- Abstract: This book chapter reviews the algorithmic foundations of agent-based computational economics. It also introduces the field known as "computational intelligence" and discusses its use in agent-based computational economics and its relevance for economics and finance in general.
- Roman Frydman & Michael D. Goldberg (Foreword by Edmund S. Phelps), Imperfect Knowledge Economics:
Exchange Rates and Risk, Princeton University Press, 2007, 368 pp.
- Abstract: "Frydman and Goldberg offer a long-overdue response to the shortcomings of conventional economic models. Drawing attention to the inherent limits of economists' knowledge, they introduce a new approach to economic analysis: Imperfect Knowledge Economics (IKE). IKE rejects exact quantitative predictions of individual decisions and market outcomes in favor of mathematical models that generate only qualitative predictions of economic change. Using the foreign exchange market as a testing ground for IKE, this book sheds new light on exchange-rate and risk-premium movements, which have confounded conventional models for decades."
- D. Delli Gatti, E. Gaffeo, M. Gallegati, G. Giulioni, and A. Palestrini, Emergent Macroeconomics
An Agent-Based Approach to Business Fluctuations, Series: New Economic Windows, 2008, XII, 114 p.
30 illus., Hardcover
- Abstract (From the Publisher): "This book contributes substantively to the current state-of-the-art of macroeconomics by providing a method for building models in which business cycles and economic growth emerge from the interactions of a large number of heterogeneous agents. Drawing from recent advances in agent-based computational modeling, the authors show how insights from dispersed fields like the microeconomics of capital market imperfections, industrial dynamics and the theory of stochastic processes can be fruitfully combined to improve our understanding of macroeconomic dynamics."
- Sanjeev Goyal, Connections: An Introduction to the Economics of Networks, Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford, 2007.
- Abstract: In (this book), Sanjeev Goyal puts contemporary thinking about networks and economic activity into context. He develops a general framework within which this body of research can be located. Topics covered include: network concepts and empirics; games on networks; coordination and cooperation; social learning; social networks in labor markets; strategic network formation; one-sided link formation; two-sided link formation; and research collaboration among firms.
- David A. Kendrick, P. Ruben Mercado, and Hans M. Amman, Computational Economics, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2006.
- Abstract: Chapters 11 through 14 of this book provide illustrive GAMS/Matlab implementations of genetic algorithms as used in evolutionary games and portfolio models and agent-based computational macroeconomic and environmental models.
- Denis Phan and Frédéric Amblard, Agent-Based Modelling and Simulation in the Social and Human Sciences, The Bardwell Press, Oxford, UK, 2007.
- Abstract: "This volume brings together contributions from leading researchers in the field of agent-based modeling and simulation. ... The research case studies and theoretical approaches discussed in this book are designed to introduce beginners and experts alike to the current state of play in this new and exciting field of social science."
Connection Science is an interdisciplinary scientific and technical journal that has, since 1989, been a focus for research on connectionist modeling and neural network learning in both living and artificial systems with an emphasis on cognition and AI. Papers on these traditional themes are still strongly encouraged. However, in 2002, in response to exciting new work in evolutionary methods and adaptive robotics, its scope was broadened to include computational research on all biologically inspired adaptive mechanisms as well as all areas of biologically inspired robotics research.
Journal of Experimental & Theoretical Artificial Intelligence
- Journal of Experimental & Theoretical Artificial Intelligence (JETAI) is advancing scientific research in artificial intelligence (AI) by providing a public forum for the presentation, evaluation and criticism of research results, the discussion of methodological issues, and the communication of positions, preliminary findings and research directions. JETAI features work in all subfields of AI research that adopts a scientific rather than engineering methodology, focusing on work in cognitive science, problem-solving, perception, learning, knowledge representation, memory and neural system modelling. All papers are peer-reviewed.
Research Sites and Groups
is a group of researchers, educators, and professionals with a common goal -- improving the way agent-based models are developed, shared, and utilized. The organizers are currently developing a model archive to preserve and maintain digital artifacts and source code comprising an agent-based model. Developers are encouraged to add their models to the model archive (prior member registration required).
is maintained by Vlasios Voudouris. The main aim of the blog is to encourage and promote discussions around the "object-field model" as a way of representing indeterminate phenomena and reasoning about them. In particular, this blog promotes discussions about agent-based computational economics, GIS (geographic information systems) modeling, evolutionary economics, applied statistics andmathematics, visualization, and the theory of decision making.
Visual Complexity Site
provides an astonishing array of network visualizations created by complexity researchers. Types of visualized networks include art, business, computer systems, food webs, the Internet, knowledge networks, music, pattern recognition, political networks, social networks, transportation networks, and the World Wide Web.
- AMES Wholesale Power Market Test Bed -- New Version Release 2.02 (free open-source, Java)
AMES Wholesale Power Market Test Bed,
developed entirely in Java by an interdisciplinary team of researchers at Iowa State University,
is an extensible and modular agent-based framework for studying the
dynamic efficiency and reliability of wholesale power markets restructured in
accordance with guidelines issued by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The framework models strategic traders interacting over time in an ISO-managed
wholesale power market operating over a transmission grid subject to
congestion effects. Congestion on the grid is managed by means of locational
marginal prices derived from optimal power flow solutions.
- The AMES Market Package is a free open-source tool suitable for research, teaching, and training
applications. It is designed for the intensive experimental study of small to medium-sized systems. A graphical
user interface permits the creation, modification, analysis and storage of scenarios,
parameter initialization and editing, specification of behavioral rules (e.g.
learning methods) for market participants, and output reports through table and chart displays.
AMES is an acronym for Agent-based Modeling of Electricity Systems.
- DA-MAOS: Double-Auction Market Platform with Heterogeneously Learning Traders (Java)
(Double-Auction Multi-Agent Open Source) platform is an open-source test bed developed by Nanpeng Yu and Ian Guffy (Iowa State University) for the simulation of double-auction markets with heterogeneous traders who learn to make their bids and offers over time. Trader reservation values are either fixed at user-specified values or randomly determined. DA-MAOS is programmed in Java making use of the RepastJ toolkit. DA-MAOS provides a graphical user interface (GUI) that allows users to conduct a wide variety of experiments under alternative user-specified conditions.
- Landscape Dynamics: Evolutionary Games (NetLogo Applets)
- Daniel Friedman and Ralph Abraham (University of California, Santa Cruz) maintain a site
to showcase some of their efforts to develop a mathematical modeling and computer
simulation technology based on evolutionary games with continuous spaces of strategies.
Applications to economic systems, such as financial markets, are stressed.
NetLogo applets for models developed to date can be found under the "Models"
section at this site.
- Simile (C++, Proprietary)
- Simulistics develops and distributes
which is modeling and simulation software for complex dynamic systems in the earth, environmental and life sciences.
Simile uses a unique logic-based declarative modeling technology to represent the interactions in these systems in a clearly structured and visually intuitive way.
- SimStockExchange (Java)
- SimStockExchange is a multi-agent simulation model developed by A.O.I. Hoffmann, Wander Jager, and J. Henk von Eije (University of Groningen, The Netherlands) for the simulation and study of stock market dynamics and trading behaviors. An executable version (Microsoftw Windows only) can be downloaded
- Small-World Trade Network Demo (NetLogo)
Small-World Trade Network Demo
(Professor of Economics, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio) implements a trade model designed by
(Alan Wilhite (Computational Economics, 2001).
The purpose of the Wilhite trade model is to examine the effects of small-world network structure on the market efficiency of bilateral trade. The Small-World Trade Network Demo can be either be run in a web browser or downloaded as a NetLogo file to run locally using NetLogo 4.0.3 (or higher).
Possible network structures available for testing include globally (completely) connected, locally connected, locally disconnected, and small-world (local connectivity with global reach). See, also,
Notes on the Wilhite Trade Model.
General Software, Toolkits, and Hardware
- Ascape (Java, Free Open Source)
(Agent Landscape) is now available under an Open Source BSD license.
- Ascape is a research tool for agent-based research developed by
Miles T. Parker, a former software engineer at the Brookings Institution.
Ascape is designed to be flexible and powerful, but also approachable, easy
to use and expressive. A high-level framework supports complex model design,
while end-user tools make it possible for non-programmers to explore many
aspects of model dynamics. It is written entirely in Java, and should run on
any Java-enabled platform. Models developed within it can be easily
published to the web for use with common web browsers. Ascape is now a full
open source release.
- A tutorial by Miles T. Parker on the design, development, and use
of Ascape, titled
"What is Ascape and Why Should You Care",
appears in the January issue of the electronic Journal of Artificial
Societies and Social Simulation, Volume 4 (Number 1), January 2001.
- GoldSim: Monte Carlo Simulation Software for Decision and Risk Analysis (Proprietary)
is Monte Carlo simulation software for dynamically modeling complex systems in business, engineering, and science. GoldSim supports decision and risk analysis by simulating future performance while quantiatively representing the uncertainty and risks inherent in all complex systems.
- Jason: Version of AgentSpeak (Java-based, freely available)
is a fully-featured freely-available Java-based interpreter for an extended version of AgentSpeak,
a programming language for multi-agent systems. Jason is based on the BDI agent architecture
and provides the features of complex PRS-style reactive planning systems. For additional
information about Jason, see the following 2007 book from John Wiley:
Programming Multi-Agent Systems in AgentSpeak Using Jason.
- MASS: Multi-Agent Simulation Suite (Specialized Language, Free)
- AITIA International Inc. has publicly released
a multi-agent simulation suite for writing agent-based and participatory simulations, creating visualizations and experiments, and analyzing simulation data. MASS includes four key components: FABLES (Funtional Agent-Based Language for Simulations); CP (Charting Package); MEME (Model Exploration Module); and PET (Participatory Extension). The components of MASS are integrated, but behind the scenes they interact via a central "simulation core". In the first public release of MASS, this simulation core is Repast J, meaning that all FABLES models are compiled with Repast J.
- Michael Thomas Flanagan's Java Scientific Library
- Michael Thomas Flanagan (EE, University College London, UK) has developed and released as open-source software a
Java scientific library
to support both his own electrical engineering research and his undergraduate programming courses and projects. Included in the library are links to source files and documentation for classes handling a wide variety of numerical functions, including: inut/output; graph plotting; mathematical functions and physical constants; random numbers and deviates; error propagation; regression; optimization; Fourier transform and short-time Fourier transform; numerical integration; interpolation; root searching; matrices; complex arithmetic; circuits; impedance spectroscopy; optics; reflexivity; and control and system engineering routines.
- Flanagan also provides
Notes on Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) in Java
that includes tutorial materials for learning the Java programming language (specifically geared towards EE applications), instructions for how to download, install, and run a Java program on a personal computer, and instructions for how to set up his Java Scientific Library on a personal computer.
Course and Program Announcements
Behavioral Economics (Crawford, UC San Diego):
- Vince Crawford (Economics, University of California at San Diego)
has prepared a comprehensive and fun syllabus for a graduate course (Economics 141) on
The course is divided into two parts: (1) behavioral decision theory; and (2) behavioral game theory.
Computational Economics (van Kooten, Canada):
- G. Cornelis van Kooten (University of Victoria, CA) has prepared a course Econ 549 titled
to introduce the use of methods from operational research in the solving of economic problems.
Computational Economics with Python (Stachurski, Kyoto University):
- Johns Stachurski (Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University) has prepared course lectures titled
Computational Economics: How to Become a CompEcon Code Monkey
that uses economic applications implemented in Python to teach the capabilities of the language.
Computer Tools for Economics (Pellizzari, Italy):
- Paolo Pillizari (Italy) has developed a course titled
Computer Tools for Economics.
Covered topics include: network connectivity; tagged typesetting; R (programming environment for statistics and more); Excel; Maple/MuPAD; Web resources for economists; intro to statistical packages (Stata); NEOS, SWeave, and BibTex; and introduction to computational economics.
Individual/Agent-Based Modeling: Applications to Ecology (Technische Universität Dresden, Germany):
Individual/Agent-Based Modeling Summer School
is a two-week summer school primarily intended for graduate students planning to use agent-based modeling in their research. The lecturers are ecologists, so most of their example models are from ecology.
Numerical Methods in Economics (Possajennikov, UK):
- Alex Possajennikov (Nottingham, UK) has developed a course module (L13614) titled
Numerical Methods in Economics.
The objective of the module is to introduce students to numerical techniques that can be used to model and solve economic problems. Covered topics include: numerical optimilzation; non-linear programming; and agent-based economic modeling.
Miscellaneous News Items
Lagrange Prize for Research on the Science of Complexity
Economist W. Brian Arthur of the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico and mathematician Yakov Sinai of Princeton University are the inaugural winners of the Lagrange Prize for research on the science of complexity. They will receive $110,000 each from Italy's CRT Foundation.
Reminder: Items Requested for ACE News Notes
- Just a reminder that if you have any information about ACE-related books,
journals, teaching materials, software, websites, or miscellaneous news items
that you would like to have considered for inclusion in the ACE news notes,
please email them to me (along with website information if available) at the
tesfatsi at iastate.edu
Copyright © 2009 Leigh Tesfatsion.
All Rights Reserved.