News Items for
Agent-Based Computational Economics (ACE)
- Prepared by:
- Department of Economics
- Iowa State University
- Ames, Iowa 50011-1070
- ACE Website Home Page:
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
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
with the following message in the email body:
with your actual email address in place of youremailaddress. For more
information, please visit the
ACE News List Site
- subscribe (unsubscribe) acenewslist youremailaddress
Note: Pointers to the journals listed below can be found on
journal and publisher information page
linked to the ACE website home page.
- Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation
- The second issue of Volume 5 of the Journal of Artificial
Societies and Social Simulation (JASSS), edited by Nigel Gilbert
(University of Surrey, UK) was published on March 31st. This issue features
articles on using simulation to understand the evolution of language. It
also includes a forum discussion section and book reviews. 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, at
- IEEE Intelligent Systems
- From the online journal description: "IEEE Intelligent
Systems, a bimonthly publication of the IEEE Computer Society, covers new
tools, techniques, concepts, and current research and development activities
in intelligent systems. The magazine serves software engineers, systems
designers, information managers, knowledge engineers, and professionals
in finance, manufacturing , medicine, law, and geophysical systems."
- For more information, visit
- Paraphrased from the online journal description: "The
InterJournal (ISSN: 1081-0625) differs from conventional paper
journals as well as from many electronic journals in a number of ways... (The
journal enables) all possible data formats that can be stored on a computer
and transferred through the Internet... (The journal also enables) public
access to manuscripts immediately upon submission. However, at the
discretion of the authors, during an initial refereeing period access may be
limited to a few editor-selected referees... At present article submission
is accepted in the following areas (Complex Systems, Polymers and Complex
Fluids, and Genetics)."
- The Managing Editor is Y. Bar-Yam. For more information, visit
- Evolution of Communication
- From the publisher (John Benjamins Publishing Co.): "The
Evolution of Communication is a broadly conceived journal
providing an interdisciplinary forum for fields sharing an interest
in communication, including evolutionary biology, behavioral
ecology, animal behavior, primatology, artificial intelligence,
linguistics, cognitive science, neuroscience, social and
developmental psychology, and cultural and biological anthropology.
(The journal) is published twice a year and contains both empirical
and theoretical studies in addition to review articles. Special
issues will be devoted to topics of broad interest and will include
target articles and reaction papers to them."
- The General Editor is Harold Gouzoules (Emory University).
Associate Editors are Luc Steels (Free University Brussels and Sony CSL,
Paris) and Sherman Wilcox (University of New Mexico). For more information,
Note: The following book announcements have been incorporated
annotated syllabus of ACE-related readings
linked to the ACE website home page. Links to publishers (for ordering
purposes) can be found on the
journal and publisher information page
linked to the ACE website home page.
- Anna Nagurney and June Dong, Supernetworks: Decision-Making for the
Information Age, Edward Elgar Publishers, Northampton, 348 pp., 2002.
- From the book jacket: "In this book the authors provide a unifying
framework for the study of decision-making by a variety of economic agents
including consumers and producers as well as distinct intermediaries in the
context of today's networked economy. They provide the conceptual,
analytical, and computational tools for the study of supernetworks. Their
approach is rigorous and of sufficient generality and detail to give added
insight into the behavior and structure of large-scale, interacting and
complex network systems, such as transportation, telecommunication, and
- The book is the first in a new Edward Elgar book series titled New
Dimensions in Networks. Additional information on the book can be found at
under "Books and Series." The preface and a sample chapter can also be
downloaded from the same site under "Download Chapter."
- Alexander J. Field, Altruistically Inclined?: The Behavioral Sciences,
Evolutionary Theory, and the Origins of Reciprocity, University of
Michigan Press, 336 pp., November 2001. ISBN: 0-472-11224-4.
- From the publisher: "(This book) examines the implications of recent
research in the natural sciences for two important social scientific
approaches to individual behavior: the economic/rational choice approach and
the sociological/anthropological. It considers jointly two controversial and
related ideas: the operation of group selection within early human evolutionary
processes; and the likelihood of modularity -- domain-specific adaptations in
our cognitive mechanisms and behavioral predispositions. Experimental
research shows that people will often cooperate in one-shot prisoner's
dilemma (PD) games and reject positive offers in ultimatum games,
contradicting commonly accepted notions of rationality... (Field) argues
that humans are born with the rudiments of a PD solution module -- and
differentially prepared to learn norms supportive of it. His emphasis on
failure to harm, as opposed to the provision of affirmative assistance, as
the empirically dominant form of altruistic behavior is also novel."
- Alexander J. Field is the Michel and Mary Orradre Professor of
Economics at the Santa Clara University, California.
- Steven Johnson, Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains,
Cities, and Software, Scribner, 288 pp., September 2001. ISBN:
- From the publisher: "Drawing upon evolutionary theory, urban studies,
neuroscience, and computer games, Emergence is a guidebook to one of
the key components of twenty-first-century culture. Until recently, Johnson
explains, the disparate philosophers of emergence have worked to interpret
the world. But today they are starting to change it. This book is the
riveting story of that change and what it means for the future. If you've
searched for information on the Web, played a recent video game, or accepted a
collect call using voice recognition software, you've already encountered the
new world of artificial emergence. Provocative, engaging, and sophisticated,
Emergence puts you on the front lines of a sweeping revolution
in science and thought."
- Rodney Allen Brooks, Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us,
Pantheon Books, 260 pp., February 2002. ISBN: 0-375-42079-7.
- From the publisher: "(This book) explores the startling reciprocal
connection between humans and their technological brethren, and explains how
this relationship is being redefined as humans develop increasingly complex
machines. The impetus to build machines that exhibit lifelike behaviors
stretches back centuries, but for the last fifteen years much of this work
has been done in Rodney Brooks's laboratory at MIT. His goal is not simply
to build machines that are like humans but to alter our perception of
the potential capabilities of robots. Our current attitude toward
intelligent robots, he asserts, is simply a reflection of our own view of
ourselves. In Flesh and Machines, Brooks challenges that view by
suggesting that human nature can be seen to possess the essential
characteristics of a machine. Our instinctive rejection of that idea, he
believes, is itself a conditioned response: we have programmed ourselves to
believe in our `tribal specialness' as proof of our uniqueness. Provocative,
persuasive, compelling, and unprecedented, Flesh and Machines presents
a vision of our future and our future selves."
- Rodney A. Brooks is Fujitsu Professor of Computer Science and
Engineering at MIT and Director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
He is also the Chairman and Chief Technical Officer of iRobot Corporation.
- David B. Fogel, Blondie24: Playing at the Edge of AI, Morgan
Kaufmann Publishers, 424 pp., September 2001. ISBN: 1-558-60783-8.
- From an Amazon.com editorial review by Rob Lightner: "What must it do
to the human male ego to find out that the young woman who just handily won an
online game of checkers is actually a sleek piece of software with no real
understanding of the game's rules? Evolutionary programmers David B. Fogel
and Kumar Chellapilla learned this and many other lessons in their quest to
build a problem-solver divorced from human expertise. Fogel's book...
captures their spirit of good-natured questioning of the received wisdom of
traditional checkers playing and AI research. The writing is surprisingly
engaging, coming from a software researcher: even readers with little
interest in checkers will follow Fogel's many game analyses with rising
interest as his neural networks increase in prowess. Even the scientist, he
includes a laundry list of fairly harsh critiques of his own work -- with
rebuttals -- in an appendix. Devotees of cutting-edge AI, online psychology,
or tournament-level checkers will find plenty of interest in the exploits of
- Dr. David B. Fogel is the CEO of Natural Selection, Inc.
(La Jolla, California), a company which applies evolutionary computation to a
wide variety of real-world problems. He is also the founder of the
Evolutionary Programming Society and the editor of the IEEE Transactions
on Evolutionary Computation.
- Ricard V. Solé and Brian Goodwin, Signs of Life: How Complexity
Pervades Biology, Basic Books, 320 pp., January 2001. ISBN:
- From the publisher: "(This book) is an entirely new approach to the
problems of understanding living systems. It applies the mathematics of
order and disorder, of entropy, chance, and randomness, of chaos and nonlinear
dynamics to the various mysteries of the living world at all levels. Less a
set of answers than a guide to thinking about living systems, this book will
help set the agenda for biology in the coming century."
- Ricard Solé is Associate Professor of physics and nuclear
engineering at the Politechnic University of Barcelona and a Santa Fe
Institute External Professor. Brian Goodwin is a Scholar in Residence at
Schumacher College and a member of the Santa Fe Institute.
- Evelyn Fox Keller, The Century of the Gene, Harvard University
Press, 192 pp., January 2001. ISBN: 0-674-00372-1.
- From the publisher: "In a book that promises to change the way we
think and talk about genes and genetic determinism, Evelyn Fox Keller, one of
our most gifted historians and philosophers of science, provides a
powerful, profound analysis of the achievements of genetics and molecular
biology in the twentieth century, the century of the gene. Not just a
chronicle of biology's progress from gene to genome in one hundred years,
(this book) also calls our attention to the surprising ways these advances
challenge the familiar picture of the gene most of us still entertain...
(A) new awareness is absolutely critical: that understanding the components
of a system (be they individual genes, proteins, or even molecules) may tell
us little about the interactions among these components."
- Evelyn Fox Keller is Professor of History and Philosophy of Science
- Michael Woolridge, An Introduction to Multiagent Systems, John
Wiley and Sons, 256 pages, March 2002. ISBN: 0-471-49691-X.
- From the publisher: "Multiagent systems represent a new way of
conceptualising and implementing distributed software. (This book) is the
first modern textbook on this important topic. It provides a comprehensive
introduction to intelligent agents and multiagent systems, and assumes
no specialist knowledge. It introduces the idea of agents as software
systems that can act autonomously, and leads you through a detailed discussion
of: ways that agents can be built; how agents can reach agreements; the
languages that agents can use to communicate with one another; cooperation
and coordination in agent systems; and the applications of agent technology."
- This book is intended for use as an introductory undergraduate
textbook on multiagent systems for students with some basic background in
computer science. Supplementary teaching resources are available on line at
- Michael Wooldridge is a Professor of Computer Science at the
University of Liverpool.
- Matt Weisfeld, The Object-Oriented Thought Process, SAMS
Publishing (Division of Macmillan), Indianapolis, Indiana, 2000, ISBN:
- This book is designed to help newcomers to object-oriented
programming (OOP) to learn guidelines for solid class design, to master the
major concepts of inheritance, composition, interfaces, and abstract classes,
and to create components to use in building more sophisticated systems. The
author motivates and illustrates his points by taking readers step by step
through a real-world application -- a simple e-commerce application framework
using Java interfaces and abstract classes.
- Matt Weisfeld has more than 18 years of experience as a professional
software developer and project manager using COBOL, Pascal, C, C++,
smalltalk, and Java. He currently teaches Java programming and project
management at Cleveland State University.
- Stephen Wolfram, A New Kind of Science, Wolfram Media, Inc., 1192
pp., May 2002. ISBN: 1-579-55008-8.
- From the publisher: "This long-awaited work from one of the world's
most respected scientists presents a series of dramatic discoveries never
before made public. Starting from a collection of simple computer
experiments -- illustrated in the book by striking computer graphics --
Wolfram shows how their unexpected results force a whole new way of looking
at our universe. Wolfram uses his approach to tackle a remarkable array of
fundamental problems in science: from the origin of the Second Law of
thermodynamics, to the development of complexity in biology, the computational
limitations of mathematics, the possibility of a truly fundamental theory
of physics, and the interplay between free will and determinism."
- Dr. Stephen Wolfram, creator of Mathematica in 1986, is the founder
and CEO of Wolfram Research, Inc., a software company.
Note: Pointers to the following materials have been
incorporated into the
linked to the ACE website home page.
- Social Science Modeling with RePast (Java)
- RePast (REcursive Porous Agent Simulation Toolkit) is an agent-based
simulation toolkit for creating agent-based simulations using Java (1.2 or
higher). RePast is being released through SourceForge, an open source
development site, and is using SourceForge to manage development of RePast.
Lars-Erik Cederman and Laszlo Gulyas (Harvard University) have an online
syllabus for a course titled "Introduction to Computational Modeling for
Social Scientists" that covers three topics: (1) Principles of agent-based
modeling; (2) Introduction to Java programming; and (3) Introduction to
RePast modeling. The syllabus is accessible at
Detailed technical information regarding the installation and use of RePast
can be found at the SourceForge website at
- ABLE Framework (Java)
- The Agent Building and Learning Environment (ABLE),
a project made available by the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, is
a Java framework, component library, and productivity toolkit for
building intelligent agents using machine learning and reasoning.
The ABLE framework provides a set of Java interfaces and base
classes used to build a library of JavaBeans called AbleBeans. The
library includes AbleBeans for reading and writing text and database
data, for data transformation and scaling, for rule-based inference
using Boolean and fuzzy logic, and for machine learning techniques
such as neural networks, Bayesian classifiers, and decision trees.
Developers can extend the provided AbleBeans or implement their own
custom algorithms. Able runs on the following platforms: OS/2;
Windows 95; Windows 98; Windows NT; and UNIX. For more information,
- Neural Network Toolbox
- The Mathworks, Inc., has released version 4.0.1 of its Neural Network
Toolbox (NNT) for the design and use of artificial neural networks in various
practical application settings (e.g., banking and finance, business, credit
card activity checking, defense, engineering, electronics, entertainment,
industrial, insurance, manufacturing, medical, oil and gas, robotics, speech,
securities, telecommunications, and transportation). A printable version of
the NNT user's guide is available online in pdf format that provides an
introduction to neural networks, help with NNT installation, a discussion of
NNT capabilities, and sample applications. For more information, visit
- Online Visual Basic, Java, and C++ Resources
- An annotated list of online resources for Visual Basic, Java, and
C++, including course notes, tutorials, and code collections, is available
Research Groups and Sites
Note: Pointers to the following research groups and sites
have been incorporated into the
ACE-related research groups and sites page
linked to the ACE website home page.
- Interactive Finance Sites
- Blake LeBaron (Brandeis University) maintains a list of pointers to
interactive finance sites that permit users to enter their own information,
test hypotheses, watch actual data move across the screen, and perform many
other interactive functions. LeBaron's list can be accessed at
- Game Theory Resources
- Mike Shor (Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University)
has developed a resource site for educators and students of game theory.
The site includes pointers to lecture notes, news, interactive materials,
text book reviews, pop culture use of game theory, games, quizzes and tests,
and related links. The site can be accessed at
- Artificial Neural Networks
- I. K Gurney (University of Sheffield, U.K) maintains a set of
introductory notes on artificial neural networks suitable for student use,
available online at
- EnterTheGrid, supported by Primeur, is a guide and news
source regarding resources on grid computing (distributed computing,
peer-to-peer computing, and parallel computing). Features include recent
news items, news articles, company profiles, and a research repository.
The site is accessible at
Miscellaneous News Items
Note: The following announcements have been incorporated into
linked to the ACE website home page.
- Artificial Societies
- Jonathan Rauch has an article titled "Seeing Around Corners" in the
April 2002 issue of the The Atlantic Monthly that surveys recent
work on artificial societies. Rauch discusses early seminal work by Thomas
Schelling (University of Maryland) in the 1970s on the evolution of spatial
segregation in cities. He also discusses work on artificial societies (e.g.,
Sugarscape) carried out at the Brookings Institution (Washington, D.C.) by
Joshua Epstein, Robert Axtell, and Ross Hammond (now at the University of
Michigan). A third pursuit surveyed by Rauch is the effort by Joshua
Epstein, in collaboration with two University of Arizona archaeologists
(George Gumerman and Jeffrey Dean), to build an artificial society exhibiting
the known characteristics of the actual Long House Valley Anasazi culture
that existed in the southwest from approximately A.D. 800 to A.D. 1350.
- The article can be accessed at
To view animations in QuickTime format of some of the artificial societies
discussed in Rauch's article, visit
- Complexity in the Social Sciences
- From UMBC Agent News (Vol. 7, No. 2, 2002): "The Complexity in
Social Science (COSI) Summer School will be held in Chania, Crete from the
30th June - 6th July 2002. The Summer School will provide an introduction to
the essential concepts of complex systems theory, such as non-determinism,
emergence, self-organization, chaos, etc. Using examples from the social
sciences, speakers will illustrate the practical application of complex
systems theory and show the benefits that such an approach may bring.
Techniques for analyzing, modeling and simulating complex social systems will
be presented. The Summer School is intended for doctoral students and
post-doctoral researchers from all disciplines who are interested in
understanding the fundamental concepts of complex systems theory and its
practical application in the social sciences."
- For more information, visit
- AI and Alife Articles
- From UMBC News (Vol. 7, No.4,2002): The New Scientist runs
regular articles on AI and artificial life, many of which are collected at
Reminder: Items Requested for ACE News Notes and Complexity
Just a reminder that if you have any ACE-related news items, or
any information about ACE-related teaching materials, software,
books, journals, or conferences that you would like to have
considered for inclusion in the ACE news notes, and/or the
Complexity-at-Large section of the John Wiley journal
Complexity, please email them to me (along with website
information if available) at the following address:
Copyright © 2002 Leigh Tesfatsion. All Rights Reserved.