- 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 economies 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
about every three 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
- Guide for Newcomers to Agent-Based Modeling
- Robert Axelrod and Leigh Tesfatsion have developed an
On-Line Guide for Newcomers to
Agent-Based Modeling in the Social Sciences.
The purpose of the on-line guide is to suggest a short list of readings and
demonstration software to help newcomers become acquainted with agent-based
modeling (ABM). The primary intended audience is graduate students and
advanced undergraduate students in the social sciences. Teachers of ABM
might also find this guide of use.
- Santa Fe Institute's 2005 Complex Systems Summer School
- The SFI's 2005 Complex Systems Summer School, directed by Melanie
Mitchell (SFI and Portland State University), will be held June 6 through
July 1, 2005, on the campus of St. John's College, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The summer school will offer an intensive four-week introduction to complex
behavior in mathematical, physical, living, and social systems for graduate
students and postdoctoral fellows. No tuition is charged, and substantial
support is provided for housing and meal costs. The deadline for applications
is January 28, 2005. For more information, including instructions for
on-line application, visit
- William Barnett, Christophe Deissenberg, and Gustav Feichtinger (eds.),
Economic Complexity: Non-Linear Dynamics, Multi-Agent Economies, and
Learning, ISETE Volume 14, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2004.
- This book is the published proceedings of the COMPLEXITY2000 workshop
held in Aix en Provence, France, May 4-6, 2000. The sixteen papers in this
book - the fourteenth volume in the series International Symposia in Economic
Theory and Econometrics (ISETE) - reflect various perspectives on the
sources of complex behavior in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Topics
addressed include: chaotic dynamics and multiple equilibria; agent-based
models; non-equilibrium macro-dynamics; information transmission; and
learning mechanisms (e.g., genetic algorithms).
- Carlos A. Coello Coello, Dave A. Van Veldhuizen, and Gary B. Lamont,
Evolutionary Algorithms for Solving Multi-Objective Problems, Volume
5, Genetic Algorithms and Evolutionary Computation Book Series, Kluwer
Academic Publishers, May 2002. ISBN: 0-306-46762-3.
- This book contains a comprehensive review of the field known as
evolutionary multiobjective optimization. It covers algorithms, theory,
multicriteria decisionmaking, test suites, metrics, applications, and
parallel techniques. The table of contents, plus supplementary teaching
materials, can be obtained
- S. N. Dorogovtsev and J. F. F. Mendes, Evolution of Networks: From
Biological Nets to the Internet and WWW, Oxford University Press, Oxford,
UK, March 2003, 344pp. ISBN: 0-198-51590-1.
- Topics addressed in this book include: What are networks; real
networks; equilibrium networks; non-equilibrium networks; global topology of
networks; growth of networks; and self-organized criticality.
- M. Fisher, D. Gabbay, and L. Villa (eds.), Handbook of Temporal
Reasoning in Artificial Intelligence, Foundations of Artificial
Intelligence Handbook Series, Volume 1, Elsevier, the Netherlands, 2004.
- With the ever-increasing processing power of computers, research in
artificial intelligence has gained new vigor and prominence. In view of
these developments, Elsevier has launched a handbook series in artificial
intelligence, called Foundations of Artificial Intelligence, with
general series editors J. M. Hendler (USA), H. Kitano (Japan), and B. Nebel
(Germany). The plan is to publish approximately two volumes each year, with
volume editors to be invited by the general series editors. The book by
Fisher et al. is the first volume to appear in this series.
- Volker Grimm and Steven F. Railsback,
Individual-Based Modeling and Ecology,
Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, Spring 2005
(anticipated publication date).
- Author Abstract: "This book is the first major reference on
individual-based modeling and its use to develop the theoretical
understanding of how ecological systems work, an approach the authors call
`individual-based ecology.' The book first provides a general primer on
modeling: how to design models that are as simple as possible while still
allowing us to address the problems we need to study, and how to move us to
address the problems we need to study, and how to move efficiently through a
cycle of model design, implementation, and analysis. Next, the general
problems of theory and conceptual framework for individual-based ecology are
addressed... A review of over 30 studies illustrates the wide variety of
ecological problems that have already been addressed with individual-based
- Roberto Leombruni and Matteo Richiardi (eds.), Industry and Labor
Dynamics: The Agent-Based Computational Economics Approach, World
Scientific Publishing Co., 432pp., November 2004, ISBN: 9-812-56101-3.
- This book is the published proceedings of the Wild@Ace 2003 Workshop
held in Torino, Italy, 3-4 October 2003. The acronym "Wild" stands for
"Workshop on Industrial and Labor Dynamics." The workshop focused on the
promising use of agent-based simulation for the investigation of labor
economics and industrial organization issues. The book includes a selection
of contributed papers on methodology, microsimulation of labor dynamics, firm
behavior, and industrial clusters and firm interaction. For more
- Economic Theory
- Foundations and Trends in Economic Theory (FnT-ET), edited by
William Zame (UCLA) and published by Now Publishers (Hanover, MA), is a new
peer-reviewed electronic journal due out in summer 2005. FnT-ET will publish
high-quality survey and tutorial monographs on economic theory topics. The
journal will use modern techniques to enable both instant linking to the
primary research in its electronic form and affordable paper copies. Each
issue of the journal will comprise a 50-100 page monograph written by
research leaders in the field. For more information, visit
- JASSS Volume 7(3)
- 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.
- The third issue of Volume 7 of the Journal of Artificial
Societies and Social Simulation (JASSS) was published on June 30th, 2004.
This issue includes seven refereed articles and three book reviews. The
featured article is an agent-based study of the viability of containment
measures as a defense against the spread of infectious diseases. Also of
special interest is a comprehensive report of a survey of 196 social
simulation researchers that attempts to provide an empirically based
classification of agent-based models in the field.
The JASSS website has moved to a new server which should permit
papers to download to browsers much faster. It is also now possible to
submit articles to the journal over the web. For more information, visit
- JASSS Volume 7(4)
- The fourth issue of Volume 7 of the Journal of Artificial
Societies and Social Simulation (JASSS) was published on October 31,
2004. This issue includes eight refereed articles and three book reviews.
It features a special section on the use of logic in agent-based simulation,
edited by Frank Dignum, Bruce Edmonds and Liz Sonenberg. The issue also
includes four other articles demonstrating the wide range of work now going
on within social simulation.
- 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,
- The electronic-only journal Emergence was re-launched in September
2004 as the print journal, Emergence: Complexity and Organization (E:CO),
with the collaborative support of ISCE (Boston and Naples), The Cynefin
Centre for Organizational Research (UK), and the Complexity Society (UK).
E:CO publishes articles of a qualitative nature relating complex systems,
psychology, philosophy, semiotics, and cognitive science to the management of
organizations, both public and private. For further information, visit
Research Sites and Groups
- True Random Numbers
offers "true random numbers" to anyone on the Internet. The numbers
are generated using atmospheric noise from a radio.
All generated numbers are tested statistically and the
results posted in real-time mode. The site is maintained by Mads Haahr
(Computer Science, University of Dublin, Tinity College, Ireland).
- Constructive Mathematics
- The constructive approach to mathematics is enjoying a resurgence
among mathematicians, due in large part to the growing power of computers.
The Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy provides an extended 20-page
that might be of interest to agent-based computational modelers.
- As explained in this encylopedia entry, constructive mathematics is
distinguished from its classical mathematical counterpart by its strict
interpretation of the phrase "there exists" to mean "one can construct." For
example, consider the statement "there exists an object x with property P."
For a constructive mathematician, a proof of this statement requires that an
algorithm be exhibited that constructs x and demonstrates, by whatever
calculations are necessary, that x has property P. In contrast, for a
classical mathematician, the proof of this statement could also be
established by a "proof by contradiction," i.e., a demonstration that the
negation of the statement induces a contradiction of something known (or
assumed) to be true, with no actual construction of x.
- Complex Systems and Networks (CSN) Group
is a self-organized network of people spanning various units at Indiana
University-Bloomington, including informatics, cognitive science, physics,
computer science, information science, and social science. The group is
interested in the broad areas of complex systems, network science, modeling,
simulation, artificial life, and visualization. The CSN Group site provides
information about faculty and student participants, projects, news items, and
- Modeling and Simulation Society
Society for Modeling and Simulation International
is a nonprofit volunteer-driven corporation established in 1952. It is
dedicated to advancing the use of modeling and simulation to solve real-world
problems. The society publishes the journal Simulation as well as the
Modelling and Simulation magazine.
- Robust Open-Agent Systems
- From the Website: "The
MIT Robust Open-Agent Systems (ROMA) Research Group
is devoted to learning how we can develop multi-agent systems for open
contexts where the constituent agents can come from anywhere, may be buggy or
even malicious, and must run in the dynamic and potentially failure-prone
environments at hand. This is an important problem: many emerging problems
(e.g., electronic commerce, large product development projects,
multi-national rescue operations) require the ability to rapidly assemble
virtual organizations on the Internet with partners who may have never worked
- Biomorphs: Simulation of Biological Evolution
- In The Blind WatchMaker (W.W. Norton and Co., New York, 1987),
Richard Dawkins introduces the concept of "biomorphs," i.e., encapsulated
software programs capable of breeding. Those bred within a particular
"pedigree" have a precisely known relationship to each other and a precisely
known genetic make-up. Dawkins (Appendix, p. 15) claims that these features
make biomorphs "ideally suited to verifying methods of taxonomy, and also to
teaching the principles of taxonomy." A large variety of interactive
biomorph demos are available on-line. For a simple interactive example,
For an interactive demo with interesting additional features, visit
- Emergence: Interactive Tutorial
- Mitchel Resnick and Brian Silverman (Epistemology and Learning
Group, MIT Media Laboratory) have developed an interactive tutorial on
The authors examine how objects and patterns can arise from simple
interactions in ways that are surprising and counterintuitive.
- Note: A Java-enabled browser is required to run the applets
accompanying this tutorial.
- Evolution of Cooperation: Interactive Tutorial
- The University of Toronto maintains an interactive tutorial on the
Evolution of Cooperation,
using the Prisoner's Dilemma Game for concrete illustration.
- Game of Life
- Paul Callahan maintains a site called
What is the Game of Life?.
This site explains and presents, in interactive form, a delightful game
invented by John Conway and his students in 1970 demonstrating that even very
simple rules can lead to extremely complicated outcomes.
General Software and Hardware
- Evaluation of Java-Libraries for Social Science Simulation
- Robert Tobias and Carole Hoffman have published an article titled
``Evaluation of Free Java-Libraries for Social-Scientific Agent Based
in the electronic journal JASSS (Volume 7, Number 1, 2004). The
authors compare and formally evaluate four freely available Java programming
libraries for the support of agent-based modeling in the social sciences:
Repast, Swarm, Quicksilver, and VSEit. A brief discussion of other
simulation frameworks is also given.
- MASON: New Version Released
MASON (Multi-Agent Simulator Of Neighborhoods... or Networks... or
something... ) is an open-source Java-based multiagent simulation library.
MASON is a joint effort between George Mason University's ECLab (Evolutionary
Computation Laboratory) and the GMU Center for Social Complexity. The
release of a new version, MASON 7, was announced on September 27, 2004. For
full details and downloads, visit
A SwarmFest04 presentation on MASON can be accessed
- R: Statistical Computing and Graphics
- R is an open-source language and environment for statistical computing
and graphics. It is a GNU project similar to the S language and environment
originally developed at Bell Laboratories. R provides a wide variety of
statistical and graphical techniques, is highly extensible, and runs on a
variety of platforms (e.g., UNIX, Linux, Windows, and MacOS). For more
- Repast: New Version Released
- Repast (Recursive Porous Agent Simulation Toolkit) is an open-source
Java-based toolkit designed specifically for agent-based modeling in the
social sciences. Repast is now maintained by a voluntary non-profit group
called the Repast Organization for Architecture and Development (ROAD). ROAD
has recently announced the release of a new version, Repast 3.0, with many
additional features. For example, Repast now supports model development in
many different programming languages (e.g., Visual Basic, Java, C++, C#) and
on virtually all modern computing platforms (e.g., Windows, Mac OS, Linux).
As always, Repast can be freely downloaded under the BSD open source license.
For more information, visit
Course Materials and Announcements
- Course and Program Information
- Leigh Tesfatsion (Economics, Iowa State University) has developed a
Course and Program Information Site
with annotated pointers to ACE courses, ACE-related courses, and ACE-related
program information. Suggestions for links to other persistent ACE-related
course and program sites are welcome, particularly if the sites are designed
with long-distance learners in mind.
- Business Research (Moore, U of Michigan)
- Scott Moore (Business, University of Michigan) has developed a course
Evolution and Complexity in Business Research.
The course explores complex adaptive systems modeling tools, and examines
applications of these tools to business problems. An astonishing number of
interesting links are provided. The NetLogo modeling environment (a
descendant of StarLogo) is used for many illustrative hands-on applications.
- Classroom Games (Holt, U of Virginia)
- Charles Holt (Economics, University of Virginia) maintains a site
Computer Programs for Classroom Games.
This site provides about thirty-five interactive web-based programs available
for general use, especially for teaching. The programs include markets
(e.g., auctions), individual decision problems, asymmetric information games,
bargaining, and public goods games. The students log in through any browser
and are then connected to the database table for the particular experiment
that you have set up in advance for them via the administrative web pages.
The administrative menu has links to html files that describe each experiment
and how to base a classroom discussion on the experimental findings.
- Computational Economics (Doraszelski, Harvard)
- Ulrich Doraszelski has developed a course titled
The objective of the course is to introduce graduate students to
computational approaches for solving economic models. Economic problems are
formulated in computationally tractable form and techniques from numerical
analysis are used to solve them. Particular attention is given to methods
for solving dynamic optimization problems and for computing equilibria of
games. Applications include problems from industrial organization, game
theory, macroeconomics, finance, and econometrics. The default computer
language for in-class exercises is Matlab.
- MultiAgent Systems
- Michael Wooldridge (Computer Science, University of Liverpool) has
teaching resource site
to accompany his undergraduate textbook Introduction to MultiAgent
Systems (John Wiley, March 2002). The site provides detailed book
information, lecture slides, useful links, and various other types of
- Social Systems (Cederman)
- Lars-Erik Cederman (International Conflict Research, Zurich) has
developed a course titled
Introduction to Computational Modeling of Social Systems.
The course begins with an introduction to the rationale and principles of
agent-based modeling. It also briefly covers the basics of object-oriented
programming using Java, and it introduces Repast, a Java-based toolkit
designed specifically for the agent-based modeling of social systems.
The remainder of the course focuses on the computational modeling of social
systems, drawing on a number of concrete examples from political science,
economics, and sociology implemented in Repast/Java. Most course materials
are freely provided on-line, including lectures and Repast/Java tutorials.
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 © 2004 Leigh Tesfatsion. All Rights Reserved.