- 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 periodically posted at the ACE Website in batched html-document form
during the regular academic year (September-May) as news warrants (and time permits!).
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 (or 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
- The Seventh Trento Summer School (3 July - 21 July, 2006) will offer an
Intensive Course in Agent-Based Computational Economics.
The mini-school will be held at Sardagna Trento, Italy, a beautiful retreat in the Dolomite
Mountains accessed by cable car. The co-directors of this mini-school
are Robert Axtell (The Brookings Institution) and Leigh
Tesfatsion (Iowa State University). Guest lecturers will include John Duffy (University
of Pittsburgh), Mauro Gallegati (University of Ancona), and Herbert Gintis (Central European
University and External Faculty, Santa Fe Institute).
- The Management Committee of the
European Social Simulation Association (ESSA)
has instituted a program to promote social simulation, and especially to
support the organization of workshops on social simulation. Applications
for support will be examined by the ESSA Management Committee twice a year.
- I am pleased to report that the
Agent-Based Computational Economics Website
now incorporates a Google local-site search box towards the top of the home page.
This facility should permit users to more easily search and
navigate the many pages that now constitute this extensive resource site on agent-based modeling.
- Leigh Tesfatsion and Kenneth L. Judd (eds.), Handbook of Computational Economics, Vol. 2: Agent-Based
Computational Economics, Handbooks in Economics Series, North-Holland Imprint, Elsevier, Amsterdam, the
Netherlands, 872 pp., 2006. ISBN: 0-444-51253-5
(Table of Contents and Abstracts).
- From the Publisher: "The explosive growth in computational power over the past several decades
offers new tools and opportunities for economists. This handbook volume surveys recent research on Agent-based
Computational Economics (ACE), the computational study of economic processes modeled as dynamic systems of
interacting agents. Empirical referents for "agents" in ACE models can range from individuals or social groups
with learning capabilities to physical world features with no cognitive function. Topics covered include: learning;
empirical validation; network economics; social dynamics; financial markets; innovation and technological change;
organizations; market design;automated markets and trading agents; political economy; social-ecological systems; computational laboratory development; and general methodological issues."
- David Colander (ed.), Post Walrasian Macroeconomics: Beyond the Dynamic
Stochastic General Equilibrium Model
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2006. ISBN: 0-521-865484.
- From the Publisher: "This book provides state-of-the-art
perspectives on macro theory from many of the world's leading theorists and methodologists.
(It is suitable) as a course book or supplementary textbook in graduate macroeconomics.
(The book also) includes a historical section that surveys the development of macroeconomics."
- Samuel Bowles, Microeconomics: Behavior, Institutions, and Evolution,
Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 608pp., February 2006. ISBN: 0-691-12638-0
- From the Publisher: "In this novel introduction to modern microeconomic theory,
Samuel Bowles returns to the classical economists' interest in the wealth and poverty of nations and
people, the workings of the institutions of capitalist economies, and the coevolution of individual
preferences and the structures of markets, firms, and other institutions. Using recent advances in
evolutionary game theory, contract theory, behavioral experiments, and the modeling of dynamic processes,
he develops a theory of how economic institutions shape individual behavior, and how institutions evolve
due to individual actions, technological change, and chance events. Topics addressed include institutional
innovation, social preferences, nonmarket social interactions, social capital, equilibrium unemployment,
credit constraints, economic power, generalized increasing returns, disequilibrium outcomes, and path dependency."
- Note: Chapters 11-13 of this book use agent-based models as examples of evolutionary game theory.
- Shu-Heng Chen, Lakhmi Jain, Chung-Ching Tai, Computational Economics: A Perspective from Computational
Intelligence, Idea Group Inc., 300 pp., 2006. ISBN: 1-591-40649-8
- From the Publisher: "(This book) provides models of various economic and financial issues
while using compuational 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. By encouraging the discussion of different views, this book serves as an introductory and inspiring
volume that helps to flourish studies in computational economics."
- Francesco C. Billari and Alexia Prskawetz (eds.), Agent-Based Computational Demography:
Using Simulation to Improve Our Understanding of Demographic Behavior, Springer, 210pp., 2003.
- From the Publisher: Agent-Based Computational Demography (ABCD) aims at
starting a new stream of research among social scientists whose interests lie in understanding
demographic behaviour. The book takes a micro-demographic (agent-based) perspective and illustrates
the potentialities of computer simulation as an aid in theory building. The chapters of the book,
written by leading experts either in demography or in agent-based modelling, address several key questions.
Why do we need agent-based computational demography? How can ABCD be applied to the study of migrations,
family demography, and historical demography? What are the peculiarities of agent-based models as applied
to the demography of human populations? ABCD is of interest to all scientists interested in studying
demographic behaviour, as well as to computer scientists and modellers who are looking for a promising
field of application."
- R. H. Bordini, M. Dastani, J. Dix, A. El Fallah Seghrouchni (eds.), Multi-Agent Programming:
Languages, Platforms and Applications, Series: Multiagent Systems, Artificial Societies, and
Simulated Organizations, Vol. 15, XXXIV, 296 pp., 2005. ISBN: 0-387-24568-5
- From the Publisher: "Multi-agent programming is
an essential reference for anyone interested in the most up-to-date developments
in MAS programming. While previous research has focused
on the development of
formal and informal approaches to analyze and specify Multi-Agent
Systems, this book focuses on the development of programming languages
and tools which not only support MAS programming, but also implement
key concepts of MAS in a unified framework.
The book consists of three parts. Part I describes four multi-agent
programming languages that are based on computational logic or process
algebra. These languages are Jason, 3APL, IMPACT, and
CLAIM/SyMPA. Part II presents three multi-agent programming languages
that extend or are based on Java. These programming languages are
JADE, Jadex and JACK. Part III provides two significant industry
specific applications: the DEFACTO System for coordinating human-agent
teams for disaster response, and the ARTIMIS rational dialogue agent
technology. Also featured are seven appendices for quick reference and
- JASSS Volume 8(4)
- The fourth issue of Volume 8 of the Journal of Artificial
Societies and Social Simulation (JASSS) was published in October 2005.
This issue includes four refereed articles, a special section titled "Epistemological
Perspectives on Simulation," and a Book Review.
- 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 the
- Social Science Computation
- The American Journal of Sociology (Volume 110, Number 4, January 2005) has published
a special issue titled "Social Science Computation," edited by Nigel Gilbert and Andrew Abbott.
Institutional and individual subscribers can access the journal articles
- Multiagent and Grid Systems
Multiagent and Grid Systems - An International Journal
aims to provide a timely and focal research forum for academics and practioners in the
thematic areas of multiagent systems, grid computing and their intersections. It publishes
peer-refereed research and application papers of high-level technical quality and scientific
standard. The Journal features original contributed papers, state-of-the-art survey papers,
and technical papers on implementations and applications.
Research Sites and Groups
- Empirical Validation of Agent-Based Models
- In Spring 2005, Marco Janssen and Elinor Ostrom organized an Indiana University workshop focusing on the empirical validation of agent-based models. Inspired by this workshop, a new site has been developed titled
Empirical Validation of Agent-Based Computational Models.
The objective of this site is to provide a representative sampling of ongoing work on this critically important
topic. Additional suggestions for materials to include are welcome.
- Complexity Page
- Scotte Page (Complex Systems, Political Science, and Economics, U of Michigan) has developed a
Among other things, this site provides an introductory document on complex systems with embedded agent-based models
that show some of the features of complex systems.
- Pacific Asian Organization for Agent-Based Modeling
- A group of Asian scholars has organized the
Pacific Asian Association for the Agent-Based Approach in Social Systems Science (PAAA).
The objective of the PAAA is to promote worldwide activities of the multi-disciplinary community on multi-agent
computational economics, organizational science, social dynamics, and complex systems. PAAA brings together
researchers and practitioners from diverse fields, such as computer science, system science, economics, physics,
sociology, psychology, and complex theory in order to understand emergent and collective phenomena
in economic and social systems. The PAAA works closely with its American equivalent, the
North American Association for Computational Social and Organization Science (NAACSOS),
and its European equivalent, the
European Social Simulation Association (ESSA)
- Complexity Blog
is a new site devoted to the science, engineering, and philosophy of complexity. Topics include the theory
and applications of complex systems,methodology, research ideas, engineering of adaptive systems (machine
learning, evolutionary algorithms, swarm behavior), and more. The site also has a growing collection of
resources for agent-based modeling and various other areas related to complexity science.
- ACE Research Resource Sites
- Over the past six months, numerous additional pointers (readings, software,
websites) have been added to various
ACE research resource sites.
See, in particle, the sites on
learning and the embodied mind,
restructured electricity markets,
evolution of economic networks.
General Software and Hardware Announcements
- VSEit: Versatile Simulation Environment
- Kai-H.Brassel has developed the Java-based VSEit framework that strikes a balance
between offering sufficient flexibility for free exploration of complex problem domains
and effective measures to relieve the modeler from the more cumbersome parts of programming.
One key element of the VSEit architecture is the supplementation of the usual object-oriented
class concept with the capability for specifying types of model entities and structures at a high
semantic level. For more information, see his June 2001 JASSS article titled
"Flexible Modelling with VSEit, the Versatile Simulation Environment for the Internet".
- MAS-SOC: Agent-Based Social Science Simulation
- A group of authors has developed a platform for multi-agent based social simulation (MAS-SOC),
building on recent progress in the area of agent-oriented programming languages. The approach
taken to building multi-agent based simulations includes the use of Jason (an interpreter for
an extended version of AgentSpeak) and ELMS (a language for modeling environments with
situated cognitive agents). For more information, see their June 2005 JASSS article titled
"MAS-SOC: A Social Simulation Platform Based on Agent-Oriented Programming".
- Extreme Programming
- Don Wells maintains a site titled
Extreme Programming (XP): A Gentle Introduction.
XP is a deliberate and disciplined approach to software developement that
stresses customer involvement and team work, following simple rules and practices.
Another important issue emphasized by XP is not just testing, but testing well.
Tests are automated and provide a safety net for programmers and customers alike.
Tests are created before the code is written, while the code is written,
and after the code is written. About eight years old, XP has been adopted at many
variously sized companies and industries worldwide.
This site provides a guided tour of XP.
Course and Program Announcements
- Bounded Rationality and Macroeconomics
- Holgar Gerhardt (University of Berlin) has developed a course titled
Bounded Rationality and Macroeconomics.
The class starts by reviewing the rationality concept commonly employed in economic models ("full rationality")
and its implications for the motion of variables of macroeconomic interest: for example, inflation, the smoothness
of consumption, and the structure and volume of trading on financial markets. The existence of deviations between the
predictions of theoretic models and actual data is investigated. "Full rationality" is then contrasted with
approaches viewing humans as being "boundedly rational." Psychological and neurological findings on human decision-making are presented, based on work by Colin Camerer. Models applying these findings to macroeconomic analysis are introduced,
with an emphasis on models that assume agents have only limited abilities to gather and process data. Key concepts
considered include "rational inattention," the use of heuristics, learning, epidemiological expectations,
and robust control. Asset markets are stressed throughout the course as a principal source of illustrations.
- Computational Mechanism Design
- David C. Parkes (Harvard University) has developed a course titled
CS286r: Computational Mechanism Design.
Computational mechanism design is a topic of study at the interface between computer science and economics. The
problem domain considers distributed open systems with self-interested agents that seek to improve outcomes in
their favor. Examples are drawn from e-commerce (Internet auctions, electronic markets for supply chains, automated
bidding agents), and from computational applications such as resource allocation in computational grids and routing
across peer-to-peer wireless networks.
Organizational Complexity (University of Bologna, Italy)
- The University of Bologna organized and held a Summer School in July 2005, titled
Aspects of Organizational Complexity.
Many interesting course materials used for this Summer School are still linked at this site under
the "Lectures" section.
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 © 2005 Leigh Tesfatsion.
All Rights Reserved.