News Items for
Agent-Based Computational Economics (ACE)
May 2004

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

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 modelled as evolving systems of autonomous interacting agents with learning capabilities. 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 once every two 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:

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with your actual email address in place of youremailaddress. For more information, please visit the ACE News List Site

Thank you.

Book Announcements

Journal Announcements

Software and Hardware Announcements


Course and Program Information

ACE Course (Tesfatsion, Iowa State University):

Leigh Tesfatsion (Economics, Iowa State University, Ames, IA) regularly offers an undergraduate course (Econ 308) on Agent-Based Computational Economics. The primary objective of the course is to introduce, motivate, and explore through concrete applications the potential usefulness of ACE for the study of economic processes. Course topics include: introduction to ACE (simple market illustrations); design and conduct of experiments using ACE computational laboratories (hands-on experience); learning and the embodied mind; agent learning representation; the Santa Fe Artificial Stock Market Model; economic networks; economic processes with strong learning/network effects (labor market illustrations); and an ACE real-world application (reliability study of a market design proposed for restructured U.S. wholesale power markets). This course has specifically been designed as a self-study eBook to facilitate long-distance learners. Each topic area includes annotated pointers to key readings, individual researchers, research groups, research area resource sites; interactive computer demos, and software tools.

ACE Course (LeBaron, Brandeis University):

Blake LeBaron (International Business School, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA) has prepared a graduate course (Econ 326f) titled Agent-Based Modelling. This course is a "hands-on" course with computer exercises and problem sets as the basic learning tool. The primary emphasis of the course is on financial applications of agent-based modeling, but other topics are considered depending on the background interests and demands of the students.

Agent-Based and Computer Intensive Modeling (Kollman, Page, and Riolo, University of Michigan):

As part of the ICPSR Summer School sessions on quantitative methods for social scientists, Ken Kollman, Scott Page, and Rick Riolo (all at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) have prepared a series of lectures for a seminar titled "Nonlinear Systems: Agent-Based and Computer-Intensive Modeling." From the course description: "These lectures will give an introduction to recent approaches in computer modeling of complex social systems, comparing them to more traditional mathematical (analytical) approaches and to the previous generation of computer simulations in the social sciences. In addition to describing the methods and techniques of this modeling approach, a number of social science applications will be reviewed and analyzed. Students will also be able to run and carry out experiments with implementations of several of the models discussed in the lectures."

ACE Approach to Macro Coordination (Tesfatsion, Iowa State University):

Leigh Tesfatsion (Economics, Iowa State University, Ames, IA) has prepared a five-week module titled Macroeconomic Coordination for presentation in a Ph.D. Advanced Macro Topics course. The following topics are covered: (1) Walrasian Equilibrium: A Benchmark of Coordination Success?; (2) Expectations and Time Consistency Issues; (3) Post-Walrasian Macroeconomics; (4) A Constructive Approach to Macroeconomic Coordination. Topic (4) specifically introduces and illustrates the ACE approach to macro coordination issues.

ACE/Evolutionary Games Courses (Fagiolo, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies):

Giorgio Fagiolo (Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy) has developed two undergraduate courses on Agent-Based Models in Economics and Evolutionary Games.

Agent-Based Electronic Commerce (Stone, University of Texas):

Peter Stone (Computer Science, University of Texas, Austin) has developed a course (CS395T) titled Agent-Based Electronic Commerce. This course focuses on topics at the intersection of computer science (including multiagent systems and machine learning), economics, and game theory. In particular, it explores economic mechanisms of exchange suitable for use by automated intelligent agents. It begins with the relatively traditional approaches in game theory and mechanism design in which economic mechanisms are evaluated and analyzed with simple, straightforward agent bidding strategies. Extensive attention is then paid to the creation of sophisticated bidding strategies given a fixed economic exchange mechanism.

Behavioral Game Theory (Crawford, UC San Diego):

Vince Crawford (Economics, University of California at San Diego) has prepared a syllabus for a graduate course (Economics 201A) on Behavioral Game Theory. From the course description: "(This course) will discuss the leading alternative approaches to analyzing strategic behavior -- noncooperative game theory, cooperative game theory, evolutionary game theory, and adaptive learning models -- focusing on games with symmetric information. There are two main goals: (i) to introduce the leading approaches and the modeling issues they address; and (ii) to examine their performance in the light of empirical evidence on strategic behavior, in the hope of moving closer to the kind of understanding needed to analyze strategic interactions in economics and related fields."

Business Complexity (Argonne National Laboratory, Chicago):

Argonne National Laboratory (Chicago, IL) offers a course with a focus on business applications titled Capturing Business Complexity with Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation: Useful, Usable, and Used Techniques. The course features an intensive series of lectures and hands-on laboratories to introduce the foundational ideas and tools of agent-based modeling and simulation (ABMS). Illustrative examples include supply chains and market models.

Chaos and Complexity (Brock, University of Wisconsin):

Buz Brock (Economics, University of Wisconsin, Madison) has developed a graduate course Econ 606 titled New Trends in Economic Theory (pdf). The unifying topics and tools of the course are: (1) stochastic dynamic systems theory; (ii) self-organization theories of the Santa Fe Institute variety; and (iii) econometric methods that stress heterogeneity. Topics covered include dynamical systems approaches to learning and to the design of experiments, recent work on systems with multiple time scales and multiple "spatial" scales, and a detailed contrast and comparison of different methods of presenting "stylized facts." The purpose of the course is to bring students to the research frontier in chaos and complexity theory as well as to inform them of recent empirical applications and open research problems.

Complexity Theory in the Social Sciences (Axelrod, University of Michigan):

Robert Axelrod (School of Public Policy Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) has developed a graduate course (PS 793) titled Complexity Theory in the Social Sciences. This course considers a wide variety of applications of agent-based models to the social sciences, including residential segregation, revolution, social influence, urban growth, war, alliances, organizational change, elections, and stock markets.

Computation and Market Mechanism (Suri and Wolski, UCSB):

Subhash Suri and Rich Wolski (Computer Science UCSB, CA) have developed a course (CS-595J) titled Computation and Market Mechanism. This course focuses on market-based methodologies, both for distributed resource allocation and Internet-based commerce. These applications involve self-interested agents, and thus economic and game theoretic issues play an important role. Topics covered (many with linked readings) include various market formulations and their realizations in different settings, and the algorithmic properties of various combinatorial auctions and commodity markets.

Computational Economics (Rust, University of Maryland):

John Rust (Economics, University of Maryland, College Park) has developed a graduate course titled Computational Economics. The course is designed to give students tools for numerical dynamic programming and the computation of related general equilibrium and game-theoretic problems.

Computational Economics (Young, Florida State University):

Eric Young (Economics, Florida State University, Tallahassee) has developed a graduate course (ECO 5408) titled Computational Economics for Ph.D.s (pdf). This course focuses on the solution of the optimal growth model, described as the workhorse of modern macroeconomic theory. Within this framework, various problems are examined (consumption and savings, portfolio choice, labor supply,...) in environments in which the standard welfare theorems fail due to taxation, market power, externalities, or incomplete asset markets. A key objective is to see how certain features of a problem force different computational solution techniques to be applied.

Computational Modeling of Organizations, Technology, and Society (Carley, Carnegie Mellon):

Kathleen Carley (Social and Decision Sciences Department, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh). has prepared a course titled Computational Modeling of Organizations, Technology, and Society (pdf). This course teaches students how to design and analyze computational models and how to evaluate the results of other computational models. Topics covered include representation of groups, organizational structure, communication, information and knowledge, technology, and task; tracing information flow and belief changes; optimization models; canonical tasks; performance measures; data capturing; virtual experiments; model docking; levels and types of validation; and social Turing tests. Illustrative models are drawn from recent publications in the areas of computational organizational theory, computational sociology, and computational economics.

Computer Science, Game Theory, and Economics (Nisan, Hebrew University):

Noam Nisan (Computer Science, Hebrew University, Israel) has prepared a graduate seminar titled Topics on the Border of Computer Science, Game Theory, and Economics. The seminar consists of a series of topics offered by visiting speakers (most with downloadable ppt slides). Sample topics include: auctions and combinatorial auctions; frugal path mechanisms; incentive compatible interdomain routing; statistical learnability and rationality of choice; and graphical models in game theory.

Economics and Computation (Feigenbaum, Yale):

Joan Feigenbaum (Computer Science, Yale University, New Haven) offers a course CPSC455b titled Economics and Computation. This course is a mathematically rigorous ivestigation of the interplay of economic theory and computer science with an emphasis on the relationship of incentive compatability and computational efficiency. Particular attention is paid to the formulation and solution of mechanism-design problems that are relevant to data networking and Internet-based commerce. The course is suitable for mathematically inclined advanced undergraduates and first- or second-year graduate students in computer science, economics, or closely related fields.

Electronic Commerce (Shoham, Stanford):

Yoav Shoham (Computer Science, Stanford University, CA) has developed a graduate course (CS 206) titled Technical Foundations of Electronic Commerce. The course focuses on technological issues. Covered topics include algorithms, data structures, complexity, software engineering, and other computer science issues.

Electronic Commerce (Steinfield, Michigan State University):

Charles Steinfeld (Telecommunications, Michigan State University, Ann Arbor) has developed a course (TC 862) titled Information Networks and Electronic Commerce. Covered topics (with pointers to readings) include: theoretical foundations; intermediation in electronic markets; business models for electronic commerce; pricing; virtual communities and auctions; intelligent agents; customer relationship management; Internet payments systems; and wireless commerce.

Evolution and Complexity in Business Research (Moore, Michigan Business School):

Scott Moore (Michigan Business School, Ann Arbor) has prepared a graduate course (CIS885) titled Evolution and Complexity in Business Research. The course explores several approaches to simulation, research, and exploration that require the power of modern computers. The objective is to gain a theoretical and hands-on understanding of multi-agent modelling techniques potentially relevant for business application. Throughout the course, the suitability of these techniques to business problems is examined.

Evolutionary Modelling of Technical Change and Economic Dynamics (Anderson et al., Strasbourg):

A Ph.D. course on evolutionary modelling was offered in Strasbourg during October 12-15, 1998, led by Esben Andersen (IKE, Aalborg), Giovanni Dosi (IIasa, Vienna), Patrick Llerena (BETA, Strasbourg), Gerald Silverberg (MERIT, Maastricht), and Murat Yildizoglu (BETA, Strasbourg). The course was arranged by the European Doctoral Training Programme on the Economics of Technological and Institutional Change.

Games Economists Play (Delemeester and Brauer):

Gred Delemeester (Marietta College, Ohio) and Jurgen Brauer (Augusta State University, Georgia) maintain a resource site for instructors of economics titled Games Economists Play: Non-Computerized Classroom Games for College Economics. The bulk of this site consists of an extensively annotated and hyperlinked compilation of more than 120 classroom games, most of which can be played within one class period. The purpose of the games is to teach fundamental microeconomic and macroeconomic principles.

Institutional Economics (Bowles, University of Massachusetts at Amherst):

Samuel Bowles (Economics, UMass at Amherst, MA) has prepared a graduate course (Econ 797) titled Seminar in Theoretical Institutional Economics. The seminar is an introduction to recent research - both theoretical and empirical - concerning institutions and their evolution. It is designed for those simply wanting a survey of this literature as well as for those intending to do research in the area.

Internet Agent Economics (Greenwald, Brown University):

Amy Greenwald (Computer Science, Brown University, Providence, RI) has prepared a graduate course (CS295-5) titled Internet Agent Economics. This course is concerned with the use of game theory and economics as frameworks in which to model the interactions of Internet agents. It covers both the design of Internet agents and the design of Internet mechanisms in which agents interact. Selected topics include web auctions, comparison shopping, and automated negotiation.

Market Design (Cantillon and Roth, Harvard University):

Estelle Cantillon and Al Roth (Economics, Harvard University, Cambridge) have prepared a graduate course (Econ 2056/Business 2150) titled Market Design. This coures deals with the theory and practice of market design, with prominent examples drawn from auctions and labor markets.

Microeconomics of Competition, Coordination, Cooperation, and Conflict (Bowles, University of Massachusetts at Amherst):

Samuel Bowles (Economics, UMass at Amherst, MA) has prepared a graduate course (Econ 700) titled The Microeconomics of Competition, Coordination, Cooperation, and Conflict. The course provides an introduction to fundamental microeconomic concepts relevant to the generic problem of coordinating social interactions among autonomous actors, with particular attention to conflict, competition, collective action, and coordination failures in capitalist economies, and the process of innovation and change in individual preferences and social structures.

Network Theory (Newman, University of Michigan):

Mark Newman (Physics and Complex Systems, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) has prepared a graduate course (Complex Systems 535) titled Network Theory. This course introduces and develops the mathematical theory of networks, particularly social and technological networks. Applications are made to important network-driven phenomena in epidemiology of human infections and computer viruses, the Internet, network resilience, web search engines, and many others.

Social Dynamics and Self-Organizing Systems (White, UC Irvine):

Douglas White (Anthropology, UC Irvine, CA) has organized a course (Anthro 179A) titled Social Dynamics and Self-Organizing Systems. This course focuses on the newly emergent sciences of complexity to study the principles of self-organization of social systems. Fundamental principles of complex adaptive systems are reviewed in the context of cutting edge research ranging in topic from studies of Renaissance Florence to studies of contemporary market systems.

Social Ecology and Evolutionism Course (Hughes, Chicago):

In 1994 James Hughes (Changesurfer Consulting, Chicago) taught a course titled Social Ecology and Evolutionism at the University of Chicago. The course is an introduction to the ecological and evolutionary concepts that have influenced the social sciences. Topics covered include: Introduction to Social Ecology; Hardware and Software; Organizational Ecology and Evolution; Social Organicism and Early Sociological Evolutionism; and Modern Social Ecology.

Master's Course on Computational Intelligence (U of Plymouth, UK):

The School of Computing at the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom is offering a Master's course on Computational Intelligence. From the course description: "A unique Master's course, recognizing the growing importance and synergistic power of neural and evolutionary computation, and designed to place graduates at the cutting edge of one of the most advanced fields in Information Technology."

Center for the Study of Complex Systems (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

The Center for the Study of Complex Systems (CSCS) at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, offers a graduate curriculum leading to a Graduate Certificate in Complex Systems. The CSCS also supports a wide variety of other activities related to complex systems, including: a weekly seminar series; research workshops; an annual symposium; and a workshop in collaboration with the Santa Fe Institute.

Computational Economics (Rotterdam School of Economics, the Netherlands):

The Department of Computer Science in the Rotterdam School of Economics is offering within its master's degree programme, Informatics and Economics, a unit titled Computational Economics. The aim of this programme unit is to train students to analyze complex economic problems using computational modelling tools from computer science. The economic problems are within quantitative domains such as finance, marketing, and logistics. The modelling tools are so-called intelligent techniques that originated during the last decades in the fields of artificial and computational intelligence.

Human-Computer Interaction Graduate Program (Iowa State University, Ames):

From the program website: "The study of the relationship between humans and increasingly powerful, portable, interconnected and ubiquitous computers is becoming one of the most dynamic and significant fields of technical investigation. The Interdepartmental Graduate Major in Human Computer Interaction is an interdisciplinary training program created to provide advanced training and foster research excellence in Human Computer Interaction at Iowa State University." Both an M.S. and Ph.D. degree in Human Computer Interaction are offered. For more information, visit

Modeling Program (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor):

From the Modeling Program Web site: "The University of Michigan offers unrivaled opportunities to pursue graduate work in formal modeling in the context of a full service Department of Political Science. The Modeling Program consists of five core faculty (Robert Axelrod, Kenneth Kollman, Scott Page, Jenna Bednar, James Morrow) and seven affiliated faculty. Together, their specialties include all forms of modeling, both rational choice and adaptation. The curriculum is designed to teach not only the techniques of modeling, but the role of modeling in empirical research. Among the techniques taught in depth are both deductive game theory (including institutional analysis, bargaining and public choice), and computational modeling (including agent-based and evolutionary models)."

Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance (University of Amsterdam):

The Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance (CeNDEF) is a multi-disciplinary research institute started in 1998 and located at the Department of Economics and Econometrics at the University of Amsterdam. Research topics addressed by CeNDEF participants include: endogenous fluctuations; bounded rationality; expectation formation and learning, evolutionary dynamics, bifurcations and chaos, nonlinear time series analysis, and nonlinear prediction methods. For more information, visit

Santa Fe Institute Complex Systems Summer School:

The Complex Systems Summer School held annually each June at the Santa Fe Institute (SFI) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, is an intensive introduction to complex behavior in mathematical, physical and living systems for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Tuition is waived for graduate students and postdocs who attend the full program. Postdocs are charged half of the cost for room and board. Travel assistance is not available. The first week of the school typically consists of toolkit courses and lectures to acquaint students with some of the theoretical tools they will need for research in complex systems. During each of the second, third, and fourth weeks there are typically lecture courses with lectures in the morning followed by selected seminars in the afternoons. Generally there is also time set aside for students to work on projects and to self-organize into working groups on particular topics.

The deadline for applications is typically set at around February 7th of each year for the subsequent summer course. In past years, applicants have been asked to provide a current resume with a publications list, a statement of current research interests, comments about why the applicant wants to attend the school, two letters of recommendation from scientists who know the applicant's work, and complete applicant address information (including email and fax number). Applicants have been requested to send their complete application packages by postal mail to: Summer School, Santa Fe Institute, 1399 Hyde Park Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA 87501, Tel: 505-984-8800, ext 235 (v); 505-982-0565. Incomplete application packages are generally not considered. If you are interested in applying for the next Complex Systems Summer School, it would be wise to first obtain up-to-date information about current application requirements either at the Complex Systems Summer School Home Page, or by sending an email request to

Copyright © 2004 Leigh Tesfatsion. All Rights Reserved.