- Prepared by:
- Department of Economics
- Iowa State University
- Ames, Iowa 50011-1070
tesfatsi at iastate.edu
- 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 economic processes modeled as dynamic systems of interacting agents. Items
of more permanent interest will be incorporated at the ACE Website.
ACE news items are posted at the ACE Website in batched html-document form
during the regular academic year (August-May) as time permits and
the news warrants.
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
- Trans-Atlantic Initiative on Complex Organizations and Networks
- TAICON (Trans-Atlantic Initiative on Complex Organizations and Networks) is a trans-Atlantic community of complexity and networks researchers based at (and sponsored by) the National Center for Digital Government at Harvard University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. TAICON is overseen by Prof. Dr. Lars-Erik Cederman (ETH) and David Lazer (Harvard). The TAICON initiative offers a range of activities designed to bring together scholars and interested practitioners, including teleconferenced colloquia and workshops.
For more information, visit
- New Web-Based Forum and Wiki for Complexity Community
- The New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) has announced it will host a new web-based
Discussion Forum and
Complex Systems Wiki
for the complex systems community. The Discussion Forum is an Internet message board for questions, sharing recent research and receiving feedback, finding out about upcoming conferences and job opportunities, and engaging in general discussion. The Complex Systems Wiki is a collection of webpages that can be edited by anyone who visits it. People can create new pages, link to other websites, or upload pictures and other media files. It works much like other wiki sites, such as Wikipedia.
- Masanao Aoki, Modeling Aggregate Behavior and Fluctuations in Economics: Stochastic Views of Interacting Agents, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 280pp., 2005.
- Abstract (From the Publisher): "This book analyzes how a large but finite number of agents interact, and what sorts of macroeconomic statistical regularities or patterns may evolve from these interactions. By keeping the number of agents finite, it examines situations such as fluctuations about equlibria, multiple equilibria and asymmetrical cycles of models which are caused by model states stochastically moving from one basin of attraction to another. The book also discusses how agents may form clusters with stationary distributions of cluster sizes."
- Masanao Aoki has taught at UCLA, UC Berkeley, University of Illinois, Osaka University, Tokyo Institute of Technology, and the University of Cambridge.
- David Batten, Discovering Artificial Economics: How Agents Learn and Economies
Evolve, Perseus Books, Westview Press, 2000, ISBN: 0-8133-9770-7. ON-LINE
- NOTE: Although this book is now unfortunately out of print, if you are willing and able to handle a rather large download the entire Batten book in pdf file form can be accessed
- F. C. Billari, T. Fent, A. Prskawetz, and J. Scheffran (Eds.), Agent-Based Computational Modelling:
Applications in Demography, Social, Economic and Environmental Sciences, Series: Contributions to Economics,
Springer, Physica-Verlag, 226pp., 2006 (Softcover). ISBN: 3-7908-1640-X
- Abstract (From the Publisher): The present book describes the methodology to set up agent-based models and to study emerging patterns in complex adaptive systems resulting from multi-agent interaction. It offers the application of agent-based models in demography, social and economic sciences and environmental sciences. Examples include population dynamics, evolution of social norms, communication structures, patterns in eco-systems and socio-biology, natural resource management, spread of diseases and development processes. It presents and combines different approaches how to implement agent-based computational models and tools in an integrative manner that can be extended to other cases."
- For more information, visit
- Colin F. Camerer, George Loewenstein, and Matthew Rabin, Advances in Behavioral Economics, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 776pp., 2003. The introductory chapter by Camerer and Loewenstein titled
Behavioral Economics: Past, Present, Future is particularly recommended.
- Abstract (From the Publisher): "Twenty years ago, behavioral economics did not exist as a field. Most economists were deeply skeptical--even antagonistic--toward the idea of importing insights from psychology into their field. Today, behavioral economics has become virtually mainstream. It is well represented in prominent journals and top economics departments, and behavioral economists, including several contributors to this volume, have garnered some of the most prestigious awards in the profession. This book assembles the most important papers on behavioral economics published since around 1990. Among the 25 articles are many that update and extend earlier foundational contributions, as well as cutting-edge papers that break new theoretical and empirical ground. Advances in Behavioral Economics will serve as the definitive one-volume resource for those who want to familiarize themselves with the new field or keep up-to-date with the latest developments. It will not only be a core text for students, but will be consulted widely by professional economists, as well as psychologists and social scientists with an interest in how behavioral insights are being applied in economics. The articles, which follow Colin Camerer and George Loewenstein's introduction, are by the editors, George A. Akerlof, Linda Babcock, Shlomo Benartzi, Vincent P. Crawford, Peter Diamond, Ernst Fehr, Robert H. Frank, Shane Frederick, Simon Gächter, David Genesove, Itzhak Gilboa, Uri Gneezy, Robert M. Hutchens, Daniel Kahneman, Jack L. Knetsch, David Laibson, Christopher Mayer, Terrance Odean, Ted O'Donoghue, Aldo Rustichini, David Schmeidler, Klaus M. Schmidt, Eldar Shafir, Hersh M. Shefrin, Chris Starmer, Richard H. Thaler, Amos Tversky, and Janet L. Yellen."
- Colin F. Camerer is Rea A. and Lela G. Axline Professor of Business Economics at the California Institute of Technology. He is the author of "Behavioral Game Theory "(Princeton). George Loewenstein is Professor of Economics and Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. Matthew Rabin, Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, received the John Bates Clark Medal of the American Economics Association for 2001.
- David A. Kendrick, P. Ruben Mercado, and Hans M. Amman, Computational Economics, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 436pp., 2006.
- Abstract (From the Publisher): (This book) contains well-known models --- and some brand-new ones --- designed to help students move from verbal to mathematical to computational representations in economic modeling. The authors' focus, however, is not just on solving the models but also on developing the ability to modify them to reflect one's interest and point of view. The result is a book that enables students to be creative in developing models that are relevant to the economic problems of their times. ... The book is intended for use by advanced undergraduates and professional economists and even, as a first exposure to computational economics, for graduate students."
- David A. Kendrick is the Yarborough Centennial Professor of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Austin, P. Ruben Mercado is Visiting Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and Hans M. Amman is an executive board member and Professor of Computational Economics and Finance at the Technical University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands.
- George Loewenstein, Daniel Read, and Roy Baumeister (Eds.), Time and Decision: Economic and
Psychological Perspectives on Intertemporal Choice, Russell Sage Foundation, New York, 569pp., 2003.
- From a review by Stephen Lich-Tyler in JEL (March 2005, 150-151):
This book contains a colletion of papers written by psychologists, behavioral economists, and other researchers in decision science. Originally prepared for a conference on intertemporal choice, most of these papers discuss recent developments in the study of time-inconsistent preferences. ... The final two chapters (on inventories and self-rationing and on life-cycle consumption/savings patterns under exponential vs. hyperbolic discounting) are the most relevant for economists. ... Overall, these essays present compelling arguments that individual may have conflicted preferences. They present supporting evidence, mainly from experiments designed to identify the hypothesized phenomena."
- Charles F. Manski, Social Choice with Partial Knowledge of Treatment Response, Princeton University Press, NJ, 128pp., 2005.
- Abstract (From the Publisher): "Economists have long sought to learn the effect of a `treatment' on some outcome of interest, just as doctors do with their patients. But research on treatment response rarely provides all the information that planners would like to have. How then should planners use the available evidence to choose treatments? This book addresses key aspects of this broad question, exploring and partially resolving pervasive problems of identification and statistical inference that arise when studying treatment response and making treatment choices."
- Charles F. Manski is Board of Trustees Professor of Economics at Northwestern University.
- Leigh Tesfatsion and Kenneth L. Judd (eds.), Handbook of Computational
Economics, Volume 2: Agent-Based Computational Economics,
Handbooks in Economics Series, North-Holland/Elsevier, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 2006.
This handbook comprises 16 chapters surveying agent-based computational economics research,
6 shorter essays providing personal perspectives, and a "getting started" guide for newcomers
to agent-based modeling in the social sciences. Research topics covered include: an introduction
to agent-based computational economics; computationally-intensive analyses in economics;
learning representations for computational agents; agent-based models and human-subject
experiments; economic activity on fixed networks; endogenous formation of economic networks;
social dynamics and the evolution of norms; heterogeneous agent modeling in economics and finance;
agent-based computational finance; agent-based models of innovation and technological change;
agent-based models of organizations; market design using agent-based models; automated markets
and trading agents; agent-based computational methods and models of politics; agent-based tools
for exploring the governance of social-ecological systems; and computational laboratories for
spatial agent-based modeling.
- Richard H. Thaler (Ed.), Advances in Behavioral Finance, Volume II, Princeton University Press, NJ, 744pp. 2005.
- Abstract (From the Publisher): (This volume) constitutes the essential new resource in the field. It presents twenty recent papers by leading specialists that illustrate the abiding power of behavioral finance -- of how specific departures from fully rational decision making by individual market agents can provide explanations of otherwise puzzling market phenomena. As with the first volume,it reaches beyond the world of finance to suggest, powerfully, the importance of pursuing behavioural approaches to other areas of economic life."
- Richard H. Thaler is Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business.
- Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination: First Issue Out
- The first issue (Volume 1, Number 1, 2006) of the new refereed
Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination (JIEC),
published by Springer, has now appeared. The Editors-in-Chief are Akira Namatame (National Defense Academy,
Yokosuka, Japan), Tomas Lux (University of Kiel, Germany), and Robert Axtell (The Brookings Institution and
George Mason University, U.S.A.). The goal of the journal is to provide "a venue for high-quality multi-disciplinary research contributions addressing foundational and computational aspects of interaction and coordination of economic agents. It focuses on simulating and synthesizing emergent phenomena and collective behavior in order to understand economic and social systems. Contributions (should be) based on sound theoretical models and supported by experimental validation."
- New Issues of JASSS, Volumes 9(1,2,3)
- The first three issues of Volume 9 of the Journal of Artificial
Societies and Social Simulation (JASSS) were published on-line on February 5,
June 6, and June 30th, respectively. JASSS is an electronic refereed journal
devoted to the exploration and understanding of social processes by means of
computer simulation. Current and past issues of JASSS can be freely accessed through the
- Theory and Decision
- Theory and Decision is a refereed Springer journal devoted to all aspects of decision making, with a particular stress on cross-fertilization among disciplines making use of formalized treatments of decision making. Papers addressing experimentation in decision making as well as links to the cognitive sciences will be granted
special attention. For more information, visit
- Emergence: Complexity and Organization (E:CO)
- From the E:CO Home Page: Emergence: Complexity and Organization (E:CO) is a quarterly journal published in print and online by The Complexity Society, the Institute for the Study of Coherence and Emergence, and Cognitive Edge, in accordance with academic publishing standards and processes. E:CO publishes articles of a qualitative nature relating complex systems, sensemaking, psychology, philosophy, semiotics, and cognitive science to the management of organizations both public and private. The readers of E:CO are managers, academics, consultants, and others interested in the possibility of applying the insights of the science of complex systems to day-to-day management and leadership problems. Current and past published articles can be freely accessed at the
E:CO home page.
- E:CO Annual Volume 6
- Notice from Kurt Richardson: A second edition of Volume 6 of the E:CO series (ISBN 0976681455) is now in print. This volume includes articles from Isabelle Stengers, Julie Klein, Sandra D. Mitchell, Glenda Eoyang, Bill McKelvey, William Sulis and many more, which explore a range of complexity-related topics from philosophical concerns through to the practical application of complexity ideas, concepts and frameworks in human organizations. Also included are a series of four reproductions of classical papers in the fields of complexity and systems: "Principles of Self-Organizing Systems" by Ross Ashby (originally published in 1962) "General Systems Theory: The Skeleton of Science" by Kenneth Boulding (originally published in 1956) "Science and Complexity" by Warren Weaver (originally published in 1948) "Emergence" by Stephen C. Pepper (originally published in 1926). This second edition has been completely repackaged with a new comprehensive index included. It contains 542 pages. For more information, visit the
E:CO Home Page.
- E:CO Annual Volume 7
- Notice from Kurt Richardson: Volume 7 of the E:CO Book Series is now in print. This volume includes articles from Max Boisot, Ken Baskin, Robert E. Ulanowicz, Heather Höpfl, Victoria Alexander, and many more. Also included are a series of four reproductions of classical papers in the fields of complexity and systems: "Futurology and the Future of Systems Analysis" by Ida R. Hoos (originally published in 1972), "A Form of Logic Suited for Biology" by Walter M. Elsasser (originally published in 1981), "Beyond Open Systems Models of Organization" by Louis R. Pondy (originally unpublished conference paper from 1976) and "The Architecture of Complexity" by Herbert A. Simon (originally published in 1962). It contains 592 pages. For more information, visit the
E:CO Home Page.
Research Sites and Groups
- Empirical Validation of ACE Models
- See the site on
Empirical Validation of Agent-Based Computational Models
for a link to an interesting and thoughtful critique on the empirical validation of agent-based models by Fagiolo, Windrum, and Moneta (2006). In addition, I have recently included links at this site to two recent interesting papers by Claudia Werker and Thomas Brenner (2006) proposing a practical guide for the validation of simulation models.
- Zipf's Law
- Zipf's Law, named after the Harvard linguist professor George Kingsley Zipf (1902-195), states that the frequency of occurrence of some event E, as a function E(R) of it's rank R as determined by this frequency of occurrence, takes the form of a power law
E = E(R) = 1/Rk,
where the exponent k is close to unity. Wentian Li (North Shore LIJ Research Institute for Medical Research) maintains a website titled
that provides archival access to numerous works related to Zipf's Law.
- Dynamic Artificial Intelligence Library
- The American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) maintains a website titled
Welcome to AI Topics
"for students, teachers, journalists, and everyone who would like to explore what artificial intelligence is and
what AI scientists do." The stated goal of this extensive and meticulously organized site is to offer a
limited number of exemplary non-technical resources catagorized and annotated to provide meaningful
access to basic information about AI. Social science research using AI tools can be found at the following successive links starting from the the Site Map: Agents -> Multi-Agent Systems -> Related Pages -> Social Science.
- Institutional Economics
- Allan Schmid (Michigan State University) maintains a site titled
The purpose of the site is to facilitate exchange of ideas on institutional and behavioral economics (both old and new). Resources provided at the site include links to working papers, reviews, course outlines, and conference announcements.
- ACE Research Resource Sites
- Over the past seven months, numerous additional pointers to readings, software,
and websites have been added to various
ACE research resource sites.
See, in particular, the sites on
learning and the embodied mind,
restructured electricity markets, and the
evolution of economic networks.
- Mirek's Cellebration (Cellular Automata)
Mirek's Cellebration (MCell) is a freeware computer program for running one-dimensional and two-dimensional cellular automata. It is written by Mirek Wójtowicz and runs on a Windows platform. It has support for many rules in fifteen different families: "Life", "Generations", "Weighted Life", "Vote for Life", "Rules tables", "Cyclic CA", "1-D binary CA", "1-D totalistic CA", "Neumenn binary", "General binary", "Large than Life", "Margolus neighborhood", "User DLLs", "Special rules", and "Weighted Generations". The latest versions allow users to rewind to previous generations of any open cellular automata, undo changes made to the grid, and find periodic patterns automatically. Extensive CA materials, downloadable source code, and code documentation are available
General Software and Hardware Announcements
- ECJ: Evolutionary Computation Library and MASON: Multiagent Simulation Toolkit
- The George Mason University Evolutionary Computation Laboratory and
Center for Social Complexity has announced a new release of the ECJ
evolutionary computation library and MASON multiagent simulation
toolkit. Both systems have seen major improvements and revisions
since the last release. The two systems are also being re-licensed under
the Academic Free License version 3.0.
- ECJ is being released in two versions: a backward-compatable version
(14) and a non-backward-compatible version (15) with significant
framework revisions. The dual release will (hopefully) give people
some extra time to convert to the new version. ECJ 14/15 also has
numerous bug-fixes, speed improvements, and a new package (spatial
embedding). ECJ can be found
- The new MASON release (MASON 11) is a major revision of this multiagent simulator. It sports
a new charting and tracking facility, several new problem domains,
and a very large number of bug fixes and improvements. MASON can be found
- JUNG: Java Universal Network/Graph Framework
- Jung (Java Universal Network/Graph Framework) is a software library that provides a common and extendible language for the modeling, analysis, and visualization of data that can be represented as a graph or network. It is written in Java, which allows JUNG-based applications to make use of the extensive built-in capabilities of the Java API, as well as those of other existing third-party Java libraries. JUNG is freely available from the
JUNG Sourceforge site.
- JAS: Java Agent-Based Simulation Library
- JAS is a simulation toolkit specifically designed for agent-based simulation modeling. JAS is a Java-clone of the Swarm library orginally developed by researchers at the Santa Fe Institute. The core of the JAS toolkit is its simulation engine based on the standard discrete-event simulation paradigm, which allows time to be managed with high precision and from a multi-scale perspective. Many features of JAS are based on open-source third party libraries. JAS is freely available from the
JAS Sourceforge site.
Course and Program Announcements
VII Trento Summer School: Intensive Course on ACE (Sardagna-Trento, Italy)
- Leigh Tesfatsion and Rob Axtell co-directed the VII Trento Summer School (July 3-21, 2006), an intensive course on Agent-based Computational Economics (ACE) for graduate students and professors interested in teaching ACE themselves. If interested, you can access the
schedule of topics
covered by regular and guest lecturers as well as an
on-line syllabus of supporting materials
for the particular topics covered by Leigh Tesfatsion.
- Graduate Workshop in Computational Social Science Modeling and Complexity (SFI, Santa Fe)
- Since 2001, John Miller (Carnegie Mellon U) and Scott E. Page (U of Michigan) have conducted the Graduate Workshop in Computational Social Science and Modeling at the Santa Fe Institute (SFI) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The workshop brings together small groups of advanced graduate students and faculty for an intensive two-week study of computational social science modeling and complexity. Workshop activities include lectures by regular faculty, guest speaker lectures, and presentations of course projects by students. The primary goal of the workshop is to assist graduate students pursuing research agendas that include a computational modeling component. For more information, visit
- Ph.D. Program in Computational Social Sciences (George Mason U)
- 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
- MSc in ACE and E-Markets (U of Essex)
- The Centre for Computational Finance and Economic Agents (CCFEA) at the University of Essex (Colchester, UK) is offering a 12-month MSc degree program in Agent-based Computational Economics and E-Markets (ACE-EM). The objective of this degree program is to train students interested in taking a computational or algorithmic approach to the microeconomic study of economic processes. Core concepts stressed include the microeconomics of market structure, industrial organization, game theory, and economic networks. In addition, operational computational markets will be studied. Students will also receive intensive instruction in Java programming. For more information, visit
- ACE Course (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
- Experimental Economics (Yale U)
- Shyam Sunder offers a Ph.D. Seminar at Yale University on Experimental Economics (MGMT 703). The seminar is intended to help students develop hands-on experience in designing and conducting economics experiments and analyzing the data. Topics covered include: the experimental method; auctions; industrial organization; corporate finance; game theory; bargaining; asset markets; and expectations and learning in monetary economies. The seminar home page provides pointers to many related resources. For more information, visit
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 © 2006 Leigh Tesfatsion.
All Rights Reserved.