Appended below are news items that might be of interest to researchers interested in agent-based computational economics (ACE), the computational study of economies modelled as evolving systems of autonomous interacting agents.
ACE news items are posted at the ACE website in batched html-document form about once every two months during the regular academic year (September--May). Whenever a new posting is made, 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 announcements-only ACE news list, please send an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following message in the email body:
From the publisher: "This book presents a variety of computational methods used to solve dynamic problems in economics and finance. It emphasizes practical numerical methods rather than mathematical proofs and focuses on techniques that apply directly to economic analyses. The examples are drawn from a wide range of subspecialties of econmoics and finance, with particular emphasis on problems in agricultural and resource economics, macroeconomics, and finance. The book also provides an extensive Website library of computer utilities and demonstration programs. ... The book uses MATLAB to illustrate the algorithms and includes a utilities toolbox to help readers develop their own computational economics applications."
Mario J. Miranda is a Professor of Agricultural, Environmental, and Developmental Economics at Ohio State University and Paul L. Fackler is an Associate Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at North Carolina State University.
From Stuart Russell (author): "Every chapter (of the second edition of our book) has been extensively rewritten. Significant new material has been introduced to cover areas such as constraint satisfaction, fast propositional inference, planning graphs, internet agents, exact probabilistic inference, Markov Chain Monte Carlo techniques, Kalman filters, ensemble learning methods, statistical learning, probabilistic natural language models, probabilistic robotics, and ethical aspects of AI."
From Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.): "The culmination of about 25 years of research and study, this book traces the history of evolutionary thought and charts a path for its future. After Darwin wrote The Origin of Species in 1859, scientists created a synthesis of genetics, ecology and paleontology to explain how natural selection could produce change and form new species. Gould thinks that this `modern synthesis' has hardened into a dogma stifling the science. Gould claims that an obsession with `selfish genes' and simplistic versions of natural selection blinds researchers to the significance of new discoveries about how evolution really works. The rules by which embryos develop, for example, create constraints that channel the flow of evolution. Asteroid impacts and other catastrophes can send evolution off on unpredictable trajectories. And selection, Gould contends, may act not just on individuals or their genes, but on entire species or groups of species, and in ways we've only begun to understand."
"This book presents Gould in all his incarnations: as a digressive historian, original thinker and cunning polemiscist. It is certainly not a perfect work. Gould gives short shrift to the tremendous discoveries spurred by `Darwinian fundamentalism,' while he sometimes overplays the importance of hazy theoretical arguments that support his own claims. But even Gould's opponents will recognize this as the magnum opus of one of the world's leading evolutionary thinkers."
Until his death in 2002, Stephen Jay Gould was the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology at Harvard University.
Issue No. 1 of Volume 6 of the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation (JASSS), edited by Nigel Gilbert (University of Surrey), was published on January 31, 2003. This issue contains four articles on mobilization processes, opinion dynamics, and social order. The Forum section includes a translation of an article appearing in a German newspaper that summarizes a recent JASSS article and includes further responses from the authors. It also includes a paper focusing on understanding individual and collective strategies for the prisoners' dilemma game. Finally, five recent books on topics related to social simulation are reviewed. JASSS is an electronic, refereed journal devoted to the exploration and understanding of social processes by means of computer simulation. It is freely available, with no subscription necessary. New and previous issues can be accessed through the JASSS home page at
From the developers: "JADE (Java Agent DEvelopment Framework) is a software framework fully implemented in the Java language. It simplifies the implementation of multi-agent systems through a middle-ware that claims to comply with the FIPA specifications and through a set of tools that supports the debugging and deployment phase. The agent platform can be distributed across machines (which do not even need to share the same OS) and the configuration can be controlled via a remote GUI. The configuration can be even changed at run-time by moving agents from one machine to another one, as and when required. JADE is completely implemented in the Java language and the minimal system requirement is version 1.2 of JAVA (the run time environment or the JDK). ... JADE is free software and is distributed by TILAB, the copyright holder, in open source software under the terms of the LGPL (Lesser General Public License Version 2)." For more information, visit
ADISE (Adaptive Dynamics Integrated Simulation Environment) is a modularized integrated software tool for adaptive dynamics research developed by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), a non-governmental research organization located in Austria . Users can specify a particular ecological environment and the interactions of the species living within it. The influences of adaptive traits and ecological interactions can then be examined and the course of potential evolutionary change can be predicted. The front-end modules are written in Java and the simulation modules are written in ANSI C. For more information, visit
Ken Judd (Hoover Institution) and Leigh Tesfatsion (Iowa State University) have completed the organization of a new handbook volume they are co-editing for the Handbooks in Economics series published by Elsevier under the North-Holland imprint. The general editors for this handbook series are Kenneth Arrow and Michael Intriligator.
The new handbook is titled Handbook of Computational Economics II: Agent-Based Computational Economics. Agent-based computational economics (ACE) is the computational study of economies modeled as evolving systems of autonomous interacting agents. The ACE handbook will cover a variety of challenging issues currently being explored by economists using agent-based computational methods, such as: learning and the embodied mind; spatial interaction networks (economic geography); evolution of norms; financial issues; political economy issues; ecological-social systems; organization of firms and markets; technological change and innovation; market design; automated markets with software agents; and the development and use of agent-based computational laboratories. The planned publication date is December 2004. The contributors and table of contents for the ACE handbook can be viewed at
The LABORatorio Riccardo Revelli, associated with the University of Torino and funded by the Compagnia di San Paolo, uses agent-based models to study labor market and industrial dynamics issues. Issues of particular interest include the operation of European labor markets, and the evaluation of policy options aimed at dealing with employment problems in the EU. For more information, visit
Well-known game theorist Ariel Rubinstein (School of Economics, Tel Aviv University, and Department of Economics, Princeton University), has online a revised version of a provocative article he first published in Games and Economic Behavior (Vol. 28, 1999, pp. 155-170). In this revised version he summarizes the results of forty-three game experiments conducted during courses in game theory he taught in 1998 and 1999. He cautions that standard game theory solutions are of only limited relevance for making predictions and giving advice about actual behaviors expressed in strategic situations. He also argues that crude experimental methods produced results that were not substantially different from those obtained at a much higher cost using stricter experimental methods. The revised article can be accessed at
Pablo Moscato (Campinas, SP, Brazil) maintains a website devoted to the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) titled the TSPBIB Home Page. Resources provided at this site include a listing of TSP-related papers, source code, and links. The site can be accessed at
From an announcement by Dr. Jasmina Arifovic, Director of the Turing Tournament Project (Simon Fraser University, Burnaby B.C., Canada, email@example.com): "We would like to invite you to participate in the Turing Tournament. This is a two sided tournament designed to find the computer programs that best mimic human behavior, and on the other hand, the computer programs that best detect the difference between machine and human behavior. We will be accepting submissions for EITHER - an emulator (program that generates a dataset that mimics human behavior), OR - a detector (program that detects the difference between datasets generated by human and machine behavior). At this stage of the tournament, we decided to focus on human behavior in repeated plays of two person normal form games with full information. Therefore, an emulator should try to generate data that is indistinguishable from human behavior in this particular setting, and a detector should try to detect which data is generated by humans and which is generated by machines."
The deadline for submissions is May 31, 2003. After the deadline, we will run the tournament and determine the best detector and emulator. The winning detector and the winning emulator will each receive a reward of US $10,000. You can find a detailed description of the tournament and all the other information relevant for participation at the tournament's website
The Computable and Experimental Economics Laboratory (CEEL) at the University of Trento, Italy, is offering a fourth in a series of intensive summer courses from June 30 through July 11, 2003. This summer's course will offer a comprehensive introduction to the concepts and theories of behavioral economics. It will be co-organized and taught by Daniel Friedman (UC Santa Cruz) and David Laibson (Harvard University). The lectures will use a wide range of methodological tools, including theory, experiments, numerical simulations, and applied econometrics. The course will survey recent behavioral applications in finance, labor economics, industrial organization, public finance, and macroeconomics. Participants will be given an opportunity to launch a research project under expert guidance. Interested graduate students and post-doctorates are encouraged to apply by April 30, 2003. Electronic submissions are encouraged. For more information, visit
The Santa Fe Institute Economics Program will be holding the Ninth Annual Graduate Workshop in Economics on Computational Modeling and Complexity in Santa Fe, New Mexico, July 13-26, 2003. The application deadline is April 11, 2003. The workshop will bring together a group of advanced graduate students and a small faculty for an intensive two week study of computational economics. The workshop will consist of lectures by faculty, special topic seminars by members of the Santa Fe Institute, and presentations of work in progress by graduate student participants. The primary goal of the summer workshop is to assist graduate students pursuing research agendas which include a computational component. A significant portion of the workshop will be devoted to analyzing and improving research being conducted by the graduate student participants.
Participation at the workshop will be limited to fifteen graduate students. Student travel (up to a reasonable limit), accommodations, and living expenses will be supported by the workshop. Applicants ideally should have completed a minimum of two years of graduate study in economics and be actively pursuing research in computational economics (highly qualified applicants who do not meet these exact criteria will also be considered). Interested students should submit a recent curriculum vitae, at least one letter of recommendation, two other references, and a one page outline of a current or proposed research project in computational economics. Preference will be given to applicants who best demonstrate the ability to successfully complete research in the area of computational economics. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.
Completed applications should be sent to Scott E. Page (426 Thompson Street, CPS ISR, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48106, firstname.lastname@example.org, (734) 615-2805). The application deadline is April 11, 2003. For more information, visit
Workshop in Experimental Economics (August 2003)
The International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics (IFREE) will sponsor its ninth Graduate Student Workshop in Experimental Economics at the Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science (ICES) at George Mason University, Arlington, Virginia, from July 30 through August 6, 2003. (The seven faculty of the ICES, headed by Vernon Smith, moved from the University of Arizona to George Mason University in 2001.) This workshop is open to all graduate students all over the world who are interested in using experimental economics in their dissertation and post-graduate work. Students will receive a modest fixed stipend of $300. In addition, each participant will be paid his or her cash earnings from the experiments each day as an additional way of earning money for travel and learning expenses. For more information, visit
New Society for Computational Social Scientists
Announcement from Kathleen Carley (Carnegie Mellon University, January 1): "For those of us in the computational social and organizational science community, the hard work of many has led to the formation of a new society - NAACSOS - The North American Association for Computational Social and Organizational Science. In addition, 2003 is the inaugural conference for the newly formed NAACSOS. This blends many of the old/existing computational social science groups and events together into a regional event that spans all the social sciences. This year the conference will be run with the CASOS conference as a sub-panel. In future years the conference will rotate to other sites and other conferences may appear as sub-panels. More details on the newly formed society and the conference are available at the relevant sites listed below." For more information about the NAACSOS conference, visit