News Notes for
Agent-Based Computational Economics (ACE)
April 1998

Prepared by:
Leigh Tesfatsion
Department of Economics
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa 50011-1070

ACE Web Site Address:

Appended below are news items that may be of interest to researchers interested in agent-based computational economics (ACE), the computational study of economies modelled as evolving decentralized systems of autonomous interacting agents. Items of more permanent interest will be retained at the ACE Web site.
ACE news notes are anticipated about once every two months during the regular academic year, September-May. Please contact Leigh Tesfatsion ( if you wish to be added or removed from this news list, or if you have any news items you wish to have included in the next ACE news notes. Please do **NOT** use the list address.
Thank you.

Tools for Agent-Based Software Applications

Note: Pointers to the items below can be found on the software page linked to the ACE Web site home page.

An extensive Web site providing a multiplicity of tools for the development of agent-based software applications is maintained by John A. Eikenberry at

Specific topics covered at this Web site include languages, traditional artificial intelligence, connectionism, evolutionary computing, agents and bots, and artificial life and complex systems. Under each topic, an extensive annotated list of pointers is provided for downloadable software.

Second Issue of the
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation

The second issue of the electronic journal JASSS was released on March 31, 1998. This issue includes refereed articles on topics such as individual versus social survival strategies, coalition formation, assembly supply chains, and building agent-based models with SWARM. In addition, it includes a detailed critique by Scott Moss of a recent book that might be of great interest to ACE researchers: Rosaria Conte, Rainer Hegselmann, and Pietro Terna (eds.), Simulating Social Phenomena, Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems, Volume 456, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1997, ISBN 3-540-63329-4.
The second issue of JASSS can be freely accessed at the JASSS Web site at

The next issue of JASSS is due out in June; contributions of articles and commentaries are welcome. Submission information can be obtained at the above JASSS Web site.

Workshop Summary:
Agent-Based and Population-Based Modelling of Learning in Economics

Note: The following summary was submitted by Thomas Brenner (

A Workshop on Agent-Based and Population-Based Modelling of Learning in Economics was held in Jena, Germany, at the Max Planck Institute for Research into Economic Systems, March 2--3, 1998. The workshop was sponsored and financed by the Institute and was organized by Ulrich Witt and Thomas Brenner.
The workshop brought together social scientists from different countries who are interested in computational techniques to model economic learning. The aim of the workshop was to discuss the usefulness of different approaches.
Based on the approaches presented by F. Beckenbach, T. Curzon-Price, B. Edmonds, R. Marks, and H. Schnabl and the critical overview on different approaches by E. Chattoe, the question whether we should use genetic algorithms, genetic programming, and neuronal nets to model learning and the question how these tools should be modified for such a use became a focus of the discussions. There was a general agreement that these tools are useful in social sciences but there was also agreement that there are crucial differences between social learning and biological evolution. However, the details of these differences, the interpretation of these tools as describing the learning of populations or of single individuals, and the modifications necessary have been discussed controversially.
Besides this analysis of biologically inspired tools, there was also discussion about the usefulness of simulations in general based on the presentation of W. Kwasnicki and on the insights obtained by the use of cellular automata based on the presentation of R. Hegselmann. More specific approaches to learning and problem solving were presented by U. Witt (modelling satisficing and reinforcement learning), L. Marengo (dealing with the division of problems), and T. Brenner (modelling cognitive learning).
Through this, the workshop offered a good overview of different ways to model learning found in the economic literature and the lively discussions during the workshop revealed the advantages and disadvantages of these approaches.

Additional ACE-Related Web Sites

Note: Pointers to the following Web sites are included on the "other ACE-related Web sites" page linked to the ACE Web site home page.

Computational Anthropology

The goal of the newly formed Computational Anthropology Section of the American Anthropological Association is to advance computation as a way of understanding anthropological phenomena. Researchers participating in computational anthropology stress the development of computer programs for the representation and understanding of human cultural and biological processes. They are interested in cognition, learning, development, selection, and cultural and genetic transmission.
To learn more about computational anthropology, visit the Computational Anthropology Section Web site at

HEDG: Hyper-Economy Development Group

HEDG is a small group of researchers from both academics and the commercial sector who are working on the theory and practical implementation of multi-agent systems combining flows of knowledge and value data. The purpose of the group is to develop theoretical models of a distributed system of combined value and knowledge exchange among multiple agents, to create prototype software implementations of the models, and to compare the resulting models with centralized scheduling systems and economic systems focusing purely on value exchange.
HEDG has recently received an invitation from the editor of the Dow Jones magazine Markets to write a short synopsis of the HEDG project for global distribution to the approximately 90,000 financial professionals (mainly dealers in foreign exchange, bonds, stocks, and commodities) who subscribe to the magazine.
For more information about HEDG, visit the HEDG Web site at

Additional Journals of Possible Interest to ACE Researchers

Note: A list of pointers to the following journals can be found on the journals page linked to the ACE Web site home page.

The Journal of Computational Finance

The Journal of Computational Finance, published by Risk Publications (London), publishes peer-reviewed papers dealing with innovative computational techniques in pricing, hedging, and risk management of financial instruments. Submissions in the following areas are particularly encouraged: numerical solutions of pricing equations; simulation approaches in pricing and risk management; optimization techniques in hedging and risk management; fundamental numerical analysis relevant to finance; and developments in free-boundary problems in finance. The Editor-in-Chief of the journal is Domingo Tavella (Align Risk Analysis, Inc.)
For further information about this journal, visit the journal's Web site at

Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science

The interdisciplinary journal Chaos publishes peer-reviewed articles focusing on the latest developments and debates in nonlinear science from around the world. The journal seeks to blend three distinct methodologies--analytic studies, computational simulations, and experimental investigations. The journal has an applied emphasis, in the sense that it is committed to communicating applications of nonlinear science to "real" systems. Among the topics included in its coverage are adaptation, evolution, and learning. Chaos is published by the American Institute of Physics. The current Editor-in Chief of the journal is David K. Campbell.
For further information about this journal, visit the journal's Web site at

Experimental Economics

The first issue of the new Kluwer journal Experimental Economics, edited by Charles A. Holt (University of Virginia) and Arthur J.H.C. Schram (University of Amsterdam), is scheduled to be out by early summer. Subscriptions to the journal are now included with membership in the Economic Science Association (ESA).
For further information about this forthcoming journal, visit the ESA Web site at

Call for Input to Conference Roundtable Discussion on
ACE Experimental Design and Data Analysis

A conference on Computation in Economics, Finance, and Engineering Economic Systems is scheduled to be held June 29--July 1 in Cambridge, UK. Included in the conference program will be a coordinated track of five ACE workshops: (1) ACE: A Tutorial; (2) Agent Representation in ACE Models; (3) Application/Policy Uses of ACE Models; (4) ACE Models in Education; and (5) ACE Experimental Design and Data Analysis. For more information about this conference, visit the conference Web site at

The ACE session (5) is being co-organized as a roundtable discussion by Blake LeBaron (U of Wisconsin, and Chris Preist (Hewlett Packard, Several invited speakers will lead this discussion. However, in recognition of the fact that many people may not be able to attend the conference, the co-organizers are soliciting email comments (two pages or less) from interested researchers which could then be included by the co-organizers as part of the roundtable discussion. A transcript of the roundtable discussion will be emailed to all email contributors.
Comments on the following four topics are particularly sought--please email comments on these and/or related topics to Blake LeBaron at, Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706):

Call for Special Issue Papers by Adaptive Behavior

Adaptive Behavior is an international journal published by the International Society for Adaptive Behavior, with Editor-in-Chief Jean-Arcady Meyer. The journal has announced a call for papers for a special issue on "Simulation Models of Social Agents," guest-edited by Kerstin Dautenhahn. The special issue encourages submissions on simulation models of social agents that draw inspiration from theories and mechanisms from: ethology; population biology; sociobiology; game theory; anthropology, economics, sociology, and other social sciences; autopoietic theory; cybernetics; and related fields concerned with the analysis, modeling, and simulation of groups of social agents.
The submission deadline is April 30, 1998. Authors intending to submit a paper are advised to contact the guest editor Kerstin Dautenhahn ( as soon as possible to discuss paper ideas and suitability for this issue.

Call for Special Issue Papers by
Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory (CMOT)

A special issue of CMOT is planned on "User Competition in Operations Management." The purpose of the special issue is to encourage the development of models in support of strategic and operational decision-making that blend traditional theories and more recent modeling paradigms. Example applications include telecommunications markets, technology and market dynamics, electricity supply management in deregulated energy markets, transportation assignment in satellite-based traffic monitoring systems, inventory management, supply chain management, marketing, and resource allocation in electronic commerce environments.
Three types of papers are sought for this special issue: (1) Those defining the theoretical, conceptual, and managerial landscape of these new problem domains; (2) theoretical contributions at the intersection of multiple modeling paradigms; and (3) case studies stressing the integration of theories and practical considerations. All contributions should emphasize mathematical, logical, or computational models, or the validation of such models using case studies or field data.
The deadline for receipt of extended 2-3 page abstracts is April 30, 1998. For more information about abstract submission in particular and the special issue in general, visit the Web site at

Conference Calls for Papers

Note: A list of pointers to upcoming ACE-related conferences can be found on the conference page linked to the ACE Web site home page.

Call for Papers and Participation in an
Alife VI Workshop on Agent-Based Economics

Agent-based economics is a nascent scientific field at the intersection of economics, mathematics, computer science, artificial life, and artificial intelligence. Agent-based economists study several fundamental questions: What types of macro economic behavior emerge from local interactions amongst agents? What macro economic behavior can be explained by local interactions? Can agents with bounded rationality achieve optimal equilibrium? Agent-based economists are interested in understanding the dynamics of economic systems as well as their equilibriums. Several research centers, including the Brookings Institution and the Santa Fe Institute, have begun to foster research in this area and there is now a growing body of research on agent-based economics.
This workshop will bring together scientists who are interested in agent-based economics and will invite them to give 15 to 30 minute presentations on their work. If you would like to attend this workshop, please send a one page abstract of your research to Michael de la Maza ( Note that workshop attendees must register for the ALIFE VI conference.

Workshop co-organizers:
Michael de la Maza, Redfire Capital Management Group
Ayla Ogus, Economics Department, Boston College
Sebnem Tokcan, Cambridge Technology Partners
Deniz Yuret, Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Contact person: Michael de la Maza,

Conference on Connectionist Approaches in Economics
and Management Sciences

The 1998 ASCEG International Meeting on Complex Data: Modelling and Analysis will take place at the Universit Catholique de Louvain, November 20, 1998. The members of the Scientific Committee invite you to submit papers in Economics and Management Sciences on the following topics:

If you are interested in participating, check the conference Web site at

Conference on Emerging Economies

The Academy of Business and Administrative Sciences is sponsoring an international conference on the topic of emerging economies, to be held July 13--15, 1998, at the Budapest University of Economic Sciences, Budapest, Hungary. A number of key government officials, business executives, academics, and consultants are expected to attend the conference. Some of the full-length papers presented at the conference will be considered for publication in an edited volume, Management Models for the New Millennium, to be published under the auspices of the St. Bonaventure University.
Full details about the conference, including an abstract submission form, can be found at the conference Web site at

Reminder: News Items Requested for ACE News Notes and Complexity

Just a reminder that if you have news items 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 at my email address I am also interested in receiving annotated cites to published articles or books (along with author URLs if available) that you believe would be of interest for inclusion in the annotated syllabus of readings at the ACE Web site. Thanks.

Copyright © 1998 Leigh Tesfatsion. All Rights Reserved.