- 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 economies 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
information, please visit the
ACE News List Site
- subscribe (unsubscribe) acenewslist youremailaddress
- Change in ACE News Notes Format: 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. Consequently, the news notes below are a selective sampling rather than a comprehensive report of the new postings to the ACE website since the last distribution of news notes.
- Eric D. Beinhocker, Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity, and the Radical Remaking of Economics, Harvard Business School Press, 527pp., June 2006.
- Abstract: "Accounting for the creation of wealth has long challenged humanity's best minds. For business readers and academics, Beinhocker is a zealous and able guide to the emerging economic paradigm shift he calls the `Complexity Economics Revolution.' A fellow of the economic think tank McKinsey Global Institute, he rejects traditional economic theory, based on a physics model of closed systems, in which change is an external disruptive shock. Instead, he outlines an open,adaptive system with interlocking networks that change organically, reflecting the interaction of technological innovation, social development and business practice. Wealth is created to the degree that this interaction decreases entropy in favor of `fit order'that meets human needs, desires, and preferences."
- Charlotte Bruun (ed.), Advances in Artificial Economics: The Economy as a Complex Dynamic System, Springer Series: Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems, Vol. 584, 296pp., 2006.
- Abstract: This book is based on Agent-Based Computational Economics (ACE) papers presented at the second symposium on Artificial Economics 2006 (AE'2006) held in Aalborg, Denmark. It covers both well-known questions of economics, such as market efficiency, as well as new questions raised by the use of ACE modeling tools (e.g. social interaction networks).
- Shu-Heng Chen, Lakhmi Jain, and Chung-Ching Tai, Computational Economics: A Perspective from Computational Intelligence, Idea Group Inc., 318pp., 2006.
- Abstract: "(This book) provides models of various economic and financial issues while using computational intelligence as a foundation. The scope of this volume comprises finance, economics, management, organizational theory and public policies. It explains the ongoing and novel research in this field, and displays the power of these computational methods in coping with difficult problems with methods from traditional perspectives."
- Peter Diamond and Hannu Vartiainen (eds.), Behavioral Economics and its Applications, Princeton University Press, 336pp., February 2007.
- Abstract: "In the last decade, behavioral economics, borrowing from psychology and sociology to explain decisions, inconsistent with traditional economics,has revolutionized the way economists view the world. But despite this general success, behavioral thinking has fundamentally transformed only one field of applied economics -- finance. In this volume, some of the world's leading thinkers in behavioral economics and general economic theory make the case for a much greater use of behavioral ideas in six fields where these ideas have already proved useful but have not yet been fully incororated -- public economics, development, law and economics, health, wage determination, and organizational economics."
Joshua M. Epstein, Generative Social Science: Studies in Agent-Based Computational Modeling, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 356pp., 2006.
- Abstract: "Agent-based computational modeling is changing the face of social science. In (this book), Joshua Epstein argues that this powerful, novel technique permits the social sciences to meet a fundamentally new standard of explanation, in which one `grows' the phenomenon of interest in an artificial society of interacting agents: heterogeneous, boundedly rational actors, represented as mathematical or software objects."
- Joshua M. Espstein is a Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at The Brookings Institution, Washington D.C., and a member of the External Faculty of the Santa Fe Institute.
Innovation, Evolution, and Complexity Theory, Edward Elgar Publishing, 192pp., 2006.
"The motivation behind this book is the desire to integrate complexity theory into economic models of technological evolution. By means of developing an evolutionary model of complex technological systems, the book contributes to the neo-Schumpeterian literature on innovation, diffusion, and technological paradigms."
- Philippe Mathieu, Bruno Beaufils, and Oliveier Brandouy (eds.), Artificial Economics: Agent-Based Methods in Finance and Game Theory and Their Applications, Springer Series: Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems, Volume 564, XIII, 237pp., 2006.
- Abstract: "The purpose of this book is to give an up-to-date view of the scientific production in the fields of Agent-Based Computational Economics (mainly in Market Finance and Game Theory). Based on communications given at AE'2005 (Lille, USTL,France), this book offers a wide panorama of recent advances in ACE (both theoretical and methodological) that will interest academics as well as practitioners."
- John H. Miller and Scott E. Page, Complex Adaptive Systems: Introduction to Computational Models of Social Life, Princeton Studies in Complexity, Princeton University Press, 284pp., March 2007.
"This book provides the first clear, comprehensive, and accessible account of complex adaptive social systems, by two of the field's leading authorities. Such systems -- wehter political parties, stock markets, or ant colonies -- present some of themost intriguing theoretical and practical challenges confronting the social sciences. Engagingly written, and balancing technical detail with intuitive explanations, (this book) focuseds on thekey tools and ideas that have emerged in the field since the mid-1990s, as well as the techniques needed to investigate such systems."
- John H. Miller is Professor of Economics and SOcial Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University. Scott E. Page is Professor of Complex Systems, Political Science, and Economics at the University of Michigan.
- Michael J. North and Charles M. Macal, Managing Business Complexity: Discovering Strategic Solutions with Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation, Oxford University Press, 328pp., 2007.
"Agent-based modeling and simulation (ABMS), a way to simulate a large number of choices by individual actors, is one of the most exciting practical developments in business modeling since the invention of relational databases. ... (This book) addresses who needs ABMS and why, where and when ABMS can be applied to the everyday business problems that surround us, and how specifically to build these powerful agent-based models."
- Michael J. North, MBA, Ph.D., and Charles M. Macal, Ph.D., P.E., are Deputy Directory and Director, respectively, of the Center for Complex Adaptive Agent Systems Simulation within the Decision and Information Sciences Division of Argonne and the University of Chicago.
- Scott E. Page, The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Schools, Firms, Groups, and Societies, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 448pp., January 2007.
- Abstract: "In this landmark book, Scott Page redefines the way we understand ourselves in relation to one another. (This book) is about how we think in groups -- and how our collective wisdom exceeds the sum of its parts. .. (It) reveals that progress and innovation may depend less on lone thinkers with enormous IQs than on diverse people working together and capitalizing on their individuality."
- Jean-Philippe Rennard, Ed., Handbook of Research on Nature-Inspired Computing for Economics and Management, Two-Volume Set, Idea Group Inc., 989pp., September 2006.
"(This book) is the original, comprehensive reference work on research and applications of nature-inspired computing to economics and management. ... Gathering the work of over 100 internationally known contributors, this two-volume set explores how complexities found in nature can be modeled to simulate and optimize business situations. It provides practitioners a global view of the current and future applications of this ground-breaking technology, and also includes more than 1,900 references to existing literature in the field."
is an international journal devoted to the publication of high quality, peer-reviewed articles on all aspects of biocomplexity in the enfironment, theoretical ecology, and special issues on topics of current interest.
- Special issue on Developments in Experimental and Agent-Based Computational Economics (ACE), Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination,Volume 1, Number 2, December 2006 (guest-edited by Sheri Markose).
- Special issue on Market Dynamics and Quantitative Economics, Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Volume 355, Issue 1, September 2005. (Edited by Enrico Scalas).
Research Sites and Groups
- New ACE Research Area Site on Business and Management
- A new page has been created at the ACE website as follows:
ACE Research Area: Business and Management.
Topics covered at this new site include: Basic Issues; Tutorials and Other Introductory Materials;
Readings; Software; Toolkits and Demos; Resource Sites; Research Groups; and Individual Researchers.
- Other ACE Website Pages Extensively Updated with Annotated Pointers
- Many existing pages at the
have been extensively updated with additional annotated pointers since the last distribution of ACE news notes. See, in particular:
- Adaptive Modeler: Evolutionary Agent-based Financial Market Simulation Software (free alpha version)
- Adaptive Modeler creates agent-based market simulation models for analyzing historical prices of real world stocks, currencies or other market traded securities. The agent-based model simulates a financial market consisting of thousands of individual agents whose trading rules evolve through genetic programming. The evolution of trading rules combined with market pricing dynamics drives the agent population to learn to recognize and anticipate recurring price patterns while adapting to changing market behavior. The overall behavior of this virtual market is the basis for trading signals.
For ACE researchers this application may be of interest to study the behavior and emergent predictive abilities of an agent-based market model that includes information from a real-world market.
Various population statistics can be followed in live charts including histograms for wealth distribution, age distribution, position distribution, genome size distribution, genome depth distribution, etc. Also some crossover and mutation statistics are available. A data export function is included to export data for further analysis in other applications.
A free alpha evaluation version including documentation can be downloaded
here (no registration required).
- AMES Market Package: Test Bed for the Agent-Based Modeling of Electricity Systems (free open-source, Java)
AMES Market Package,
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.
- Template Model for ABM Platform Comparisons
- Steven F. Railsback, Steven L. Lytinen, and Stephen K. Jackson have developed
StupidModel: A Template Model for ABM Platforms.
The template model is implemented in five different platforms: NetLogo; RepastJ; MASON; Java Swarm; and Objective C Swarm. Although relatively simple, StupidModel includes many commonly used features of agent-based modeling (ABM) platforms.
Sixteen versions of StupidModel are implemented for each platform, beginning with a bare bones version and ending with a relatively sophisticated version that involves two agent types,
a full agent life cycle (birth, reproduction, predation, and death), and a habitat with data read from an input file. Each implementation is made available as freeware with accompanying implementation notes. In addition, the authors include at this site a pointer to a paper titled
"Agent-Based Simulation Platforms: Review and Development Recommendations"
that reviews and compares the five ABM platforms and seeks to identify key development priorities both
for these specific ABM platforms and for ABM platforms in general.
- Zero-Intelligence Trading Demo (Java Applet/NegLogo Model)
- Mark McBride (Economics Department, Miami University, Ohio) has developed
Zero-Intelligence Trading Demonstration Software
that is based upon the double-auction trading experiments
conducted with "Zero-Intelligence (ZI)" traders by Gode and Sunder (Journal of Political Economy, 1993).
A Java Applet is available at this site that permits you to run ZI trading experiments in a Java-enabled browser
(Java 1.4.X or later). Alternatively, a NetLogo model can be downloaded for running on a personal computer
with a NetLogo
3.1.1 (or later) installation.
General Software, Toolkits, and Hardware
- Ada for Agent-Based Simulation
- From Bruce R. Barkstrom (NOAA National Climate Data Center): "Ada, a general purpose programming
language originally developed by the U.S. Department of Defence in 1983, appears to provide an appealing
tool for developing agent-based software. The language has undergone two major revisions, one in 1995,
and a second in 2005. An excellent open-source implementation is available with the GPL license at the
from which it is possible to download both the GNAT GPL version
and the GPS Integrated Development Environment, as well as numerous other libraries and toolkits. The reason
Ada would appear to be an attractive language for agent-based simulations is that Ada defines a model for concurrent
programming as part of the language itself. A task is an active component encapsulating a light-weight process
and it provides a simple model for executing multiple code blocks concurrently - and for allowing different tasks
to communicate and synchronize. In cases in which it is necessary for concurrent processes to avoid interference,
Ada also provides protected entries and tasks. Because Ada has been designed to handle embedded, distributed
systems, it also has excellent exception handling capabilities."
- Brahms: Multi-Agent Discrete-Event Simulation (Java based)
- From the developers:
developed by the Brahms Team in the Computational Sciences Division at the NASA Ames Research Center,
is a multi-agent discrete-event simulation environment. It is also an Agent-Oriented Language for implementing real-time distributed agents. There is an agent language construct that can inherit from multiple group constructs. This permits the modeling of teams of agents either interacting in one model or distributed over multiple models. Agents are belief-based (BDI) activity-oriented, and both deliberative and reactive. Besides agents, the Brahms language also includes constructs for objects and object-class inheritance for modeling of data objects and real world artifacts. Agents and objects are located in a conceptual geography model, enabling agent and object movement in this geography. The Brahms byte-code is XML, which is interpreted by the Brahms Virtual Machine. Each Brahms agent executes in a separate Java thread using a subsumption-based activity and rule execution engine. Multiple Brahms Virtual Machines can interact together via a network using a message- and directory-based communication layer. Agents can publish themselves and locate others on a network, using a distributed directory service. Agents interact via a message-based communication layer that can be based on any low-level communication protocol, such as Corba, UDP, TCP/IP, SOAP."
- Brahms can be downloaded at
Tutorial on Brahms
is also available.
- Breve: 3-D Simulation Environment (Open Source)
is a free software package that provides a 3-D environment for the simulation
of decentralized systems and artificial life. Users define the behaviors of
agents in a 3-D world and observe how they interact. Breve includes physical
simulation and collision detection for the simulation of realistic creatures,
and an OpenGL display engine so that users can visualize their simulated
worlds. It is available for Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows platforms.
- MASON: Multi-Agent Simulator - Latest Release (Java, Open Source)
- The George Mason University Evolutionary Computation Laboratory and
Center for Social Complexity has announced a new release (MASON 12) of the
MASON multiagent simulation toolkit.
MASON contains both a model library and an optional suite of visualization tools in 2D and 3D.
MASON is a joint effort between George Mason University's ECLab (Evolutionary
Computation Laboratory) and the GMU Center for Social Complexity, and was
designed by Sean Luke, Gabriel Catalin Balan, and Liviu Panait, with help
from Claudio Cioffi-Revilla, Sean Paus, Daniel Kuebrich, and Keith Sullivan.
A SwarmFest04 presentation on MASON can be accessed
- Repast Latest Releases (Java,Python,C#; Open Source)
- Repast (REcursive Porous Agent Simulation Toolkit) is an agent-based
simulation toolkit specifically designed for social science applications.
Originally developed by researchers at the University of Chicago and the
Argonne National Laboratory, Repast is now managed by the non-profit
volunteer organization ROAD (Repast Organization for Architecture and
Development). Repast is currently released in four versions supporting
model development in three different languages: RepastJ (Java based); RepastPy
(based on the Python scripting language); Repast.Net (implemented in C#, but any .Net language
can be used); and Repast S (Simphony, Java-based, developer's alpha release 2).
Repast runs on virtually all modern computing platforms (e.g., Windows, Mac OS, and Linux).
The latest Repast releases, along with detailed technical information regarding the
installation and use of RePast, can be found at the
RePast Sourceforge Website.
Course and Program Announcements
ACE Course (Pape, Oberlin College, Ohio)
- Andreas Duus Pape (Department of Economics, Oberlin College) has prepared a
Wiki-Based ACE Course.
The primary objective of the course is to expose participants to the ideas of complex systems and their role in economics, and to build a team of interested students interested in pursuing ongoing collaborative research in this area. Students are asked to construct and maintain wiki pages as useful repositories of knowledge generated during class discussions.
- ACE Course (Branke and Veit, U of Karlsruhe):
- Dr. Jürgen Branke and Dr. Daniel Veit offer a course on (agent-based) computational economics at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany. Computer-based simulation models are used to analyze complex economic systems; artificial worlds are created that capture relevant aspects of the problems under consideration. Given all exogenous and endogenous factors, the modeled economies evolve over time and different scenarios can be analyzed. Thus, the models serve as virtual testbeds for theory generation and exploration. The course covers a wide range of topics, including a number of simulation paradigms (with emphasis on agent-based simulation), artificial intelligence, and models with learning agents.
For more information, visit
Computer Simulation in the Social Sciences (Janssen, Arizona State University):
- Marco Janssen (School of Human Evolution and Change, Arizona State University) has prepared a course titled
Computer Simulation in the Social Sciences.
The objective of the course is to introduce students to the use of computer simulation for the study of social phenomena such as cooperation,diffusion, and foraging. Students learn the basics of systems dynamics, cellular automata, and agent-based models, evolutionary programming, neural networks, and network-growing models. These techniques are used to study social systems from ancient to modern times. Attention is also given to the testing of simulation models and empirical validation issues.
Ph.D. Program in Computational Social Sciences (George Mason U, Fairfax, VA):
- The Center for Social Complexity at George Mason University (Fairfax, Virginia) offers a Ph.D. Program in Computational Social Sciences. The core objective of this program is to train graduate students to be professional computational social scientists in academia, government, or business. The program offers students a unique and innovative interdisciplinary academic environment for systematically exploring, discovering, and developing their skills to successfully follow careers in one of the areas of computational social science. For more information, visit
Miscellaneous News Items
- Springer Complexity Program
News note from Frank Schweitzer (5/2/07, firstname.lastname@example.org): "I noticed that you (list) publishers with an interest in publishing computational studies of complex systems. So, I thought that you would like to know that Springer (not
Springer-New York) has established its own
to foster this kind of research. I am also happy to look at book proposals from economists."
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 © 2007 Leigh Tesfatsion.
All Rights Reserved.