News Items for
Agent-Based Computational Economics (ACE)
December 2002

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.

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

  • Stan Liebowitz, Re-Thinking the Network Economy: The True Forces that Drive the Digital Marketplace, AMACOM, 210 pp., September 2002. ISBN 0-814-40649-1

    From the Publisher: "What has become eminently apparent since the dot-com collapse is that standard economic theories apply to Internet business just as much as they do to any other enterprise. Many dot-coms have failed, but e-commerce isn't going away, and business leaders need to understand what went wrong in order to dominate in the real new economy. (This book) examines exactly where, how, and why so many e-commerce firms went wrong, and how, utilizing traditional economic concepts, businesses can build the foundation for success in the future."
    Stan J. Liebowitz is Professor of Managerial Economics at the University of Texas at Dallas.

  • Mauro F. Guillen, Randall Collins, Paula England, and Marshall Meyer (eds.), The New Economic Sociology, Russell Sage Foundation, New York, N.Y., 344 pp., May 2002. ISBN 0-871-54343-5

    From the Publisher: "As the American economy surged in the 1990s, economic sociology made great strides as well. Economists and sociologists worked across disciplinary boundaries to study the booming market as both a product and a producer of culture, tracing the correlations they saw between economic and social phenomena. In the process, they debated the methodological issues that arose from their interdisciplinary perspectives. (This book) provides an overview of these debates and assesses the state of the burgeoning discipline. The contributors summarize economic sociology's accomplishments to date, identifying key theoretical problems and opportunities, and formulating strategies for future research in the field... The contributors concur that economic action must be interpreted through the cultural understandings that lend it stability and meaning. By rendering these often complex debates accessible, (this book) makes a significant contribution to this still rapidly developing field, and provides a useful guide for future avenues of research."
    Mauro F. Guillen is Associate Professor of Management at the Wharton School and Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. Randall Collins is Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. Paula England is Professor of Sociology at Northwestern University. Marshall Meyer is Professor of Management and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Marco A. Janssen (ed.), Complexity and Ecosystem Management: The Theory and Practice of Multi-Agent Systems, Edward Elgar, 360 pp., December 2002. ISBN 1-843-76061-4

    From the publisher: "The quality of ecosystems is affected by the actions of different stakeholders who use them in a variety of ways. In order to understand this complex relationship between humans and nature, it is vital to understand the complexity of the interacting agents. The authors in this book attempt to do this by applying multi-agent systems to the problems of ecosystem management. The multi-agent approach to ecosystem management is a relatively new and rapidly developing field which takes a formal computational approach towards the interaction of humans and their environment. The authors highlight some of the promising new methodologies which are emerging in the field from disciplines such as computer science and computational social science. They move on to address a number of important topics including diffusion processes, common-pool resources, land use change and the participatory use of models, in an attempt to solve contemporary management issues. They demonstrate the potential utility of multi-agent systems in the context of theoretical problems and practical case studies."
    Marco A. Janssen is Associate Research Scientist, Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change, Indiana University, Bloomington.

  • Rosaria Conte, Mario Paolucci, and Robert Herd Fairbairn (eds.), Reputation in Artificial Societies: Social Beliefs for Social Order, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 222 pp., December 2002. ISBN: 1-402-07186-8

    From the publisher: "(This book) discusses the role of reputation in the achievement of social order. The book proposes that reputation is an agent property that results from transmission of beliefs about how the agents are evaluated with regard to a socially desirable conduct. This desirable conduct represents one or another of the solutions to the problem of social order and may consist of cooperation or altruism, reciprocity, or norm obedience. (This book) distinguishes between image (direct evaluation of others) and reputation (propagating metabelief, indirectly acquired) and investigates their effects with regard to both natural and electronic societies. The interplay between image and reputation, the process leading to them, and the set of decisions that agents make on their basis are demonstrated with supporting data from agentbased simulations."

  • Terrence W. Deacon, The Symbolic Species: The Co-Evolution of Language and the Brain, W. W. Norton and Co., New York, N.Y., 527 pp., April 1998. ISBN 0-393-31574-4

    From the publisher: "This revolutionary book provides fresh answers to long-standing questions of human origins and consciousness. Drawing on his breakthrough research in comparative neuroscience, Terrence Deacon offers a wealth of insights into the significance of symbolic thinking: from the co-evolutionary exchange between language and brains over two million years of hominid evolution to the ethical repercussions that followed man's newfound access to other people's thoughts and emotions. Informing these insights is a new understanding of how Darwinian processes underlie the brain's development and function as well as its evolution. In contrast to much contemporary neuroscience that treats the brain as no more or less than a computer, Deacon provides a new clarity of vision into the mechanisms of mind. It injects a renewed sense of adventure into the experience of being human."
    Terrence W. Deacon is associate professor of biological anthropology at Boston University and also conducts research at the McLean Hospital at the Harvard Medical School.

  • Michael Arbib (ed.), The Handbook of Brain Theory and Neural Networks: Second Edition, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1344 pp., November 2002. ISBN 0-262-01197-2

    From the Publisher: "Dramatically updating and extending the first edition, published in 1995, the second edition of (this book) presents the enormous progress made in recent years in the many subfields related to the two great questions: How does the brain work? and, How can we build intelligent machines? Once again, the heart of the book is a set of almost 300 articles covering the whole spectrum of topics in brain theory and neural networks. ... The second edition greatly increases the coverage of models of fundamental neurobiology, cognitive neuroscience, and neural network approaches to language. It contains 287 articles, compared to the 266 in the first edition. Articles on topics from the first edition have been updated by the original authors or written anew by new authors, and there are 106 articles on new topics."
    Michael A. Arbib is Professor of Computer Science and Neurscience, and Director of the Center for Neural Engineering, at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

  • Moshe Sipper, Machine Nature: The Coming Age of Bio-Inspired Computing, McGraw-Hill, 244 pp., July 2002. ISBN: 0-071-38704-8

    From the publisher: "An enthralling look at how computer scientists have crossed the line between machines and living organisms. Sipper takes readers on a thrilling journey to the terra nova of computing, to provide a compelling look at cutting-edge computers, robots, and machines now and in the decades ahead."
    Moshe Sipper is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science, Ben-Gurion University, Isreal, and a Visiting Professor in the Logic Systems Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland.

  • James P. Crutchfield and Peter Schuster (eds.), Evolutionary Dynamics: Exploring the Interplay of Selection, Accident, Neutrality, and Function, Oxford University Press, New York, N.Y., 480 pp., November 2002. ISBN 0-195-14264-0

    From the Publisher: "This book is an assessment and review of the recent progress in integating evolutionary modeling and computation, molecular and developmental evolution, and nonlinear population dynamics into evolutionary theory. It brings together a wide range of eminent researchers in evolutionary dynamics in order to formulate a comprehensive theory that builds on nonlineeeear mathematics and physics. The text is divided into four sections: macroevolution; epochal evolution; population genetics, dynamics, and optimization; andevolution of cooperation, each containing several in-depth chapters and discussions."
    James P. Crutchfield is a theoretical physicist and Research Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. Peter Schuster is Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Vienna and an external faculty member of the Santa Fe Institute.

  • Dieter Fensel, James Hendler, Henry Lieberman, and Wolfgang Wahlster (eds.), foreward by Tim Berners-Lee, Spinning the Semantic Web: Bringing the World Wide Web to Its Full Potential, The MIT Press, 392 pp., November 2002. ISBN: 0-262-06232-1

    From the publisher: "This first handbook for the Semantic Web covers, among other topics, software agents that can negotiate and collect information, markup languages that can tag many more types of information in a document, and knowledge systems that enable machines to read Web pages and determine their reliability. The truly interdiscipinary Semantic Web combines aspects of artificial intelligence, markup languages, natural language processing, information retrieval, knowledge representation, intelligent agents, and databases."

  • Rodolfo R. Llinas, I of the Vortex: From Neurons to Self, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 264 pp., April 2002. ISBN 0-262-12233-2

    From the publisher: "In (this book), Rodolfo Llinas, a founding father of modern brain science, presents an original view of the evolution and nature of mind. According to Llinas, the `mindness state' evolved to allow predictive interactions between mobile creatures and their environment. To move through the environment safely, a creature must anticipate the outcome of each movement on the basis of incoming sensory data. Thus the capacity to predict is most likely the ultimate brain function. One could even say that Self is the centralization of prediction. At the heart of Llinas's theory is the concept of oscillation. Many neurons possess electrical activity, manifested as oscillating variations in the minute voltages across the cell membrane. On the crests of these oscillations occur larger electrical events that are the basis for neuron-to-neuron communication. Like cicadas chirping in unison, a group of neurons oscillating in phase can resonate with a distant group of neurons. This simultaneity of neuronal activity is the neurobiological root of cognition. Although the internal state that we call the mind is guided by the senses, it is also generated by the oscillations within the brain. Thus, in a certain sense, one could say that we live in a kind of virtual reality."
    Rodolfo R. Llinas is the Thomas and Susanne Murphy Professor of Neuroscience and Chairman of the Department of Physiology and Neuroscience at the New York University School of Medicine.

    Journal Announcements

    • Artificial Societies and Social Simulation

      Issue No. 4 of Volume 5 of the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation (JASSS), edited by Nigel Gilbert (University of Surrey), was published on October 31, 2002.
      This issue contains five articles on topics such as extremism, simulation of computer-mediated negotiations, network structures and agreement in social network simulations, group reputation and beneficent norms, and identifying cases of social contagion by means of memetic isolation using an ethnographic data set. In the Forum section, Laurie Brown and Ann Harding review micro-simulation research that they and their colleagues have been doing in Australia focusing on social security, welfare, and health policies. Finally, the Books Reviews section includes reviews for six recent books.
      JASSS is an electronic, refereed journal devoted to the exploration and understanding of social processes by means of computer simulation. The new issue can be accessed through the JASSS home page at

    • Economic Systems Research

      From the publisher: "Economic Systems Research is a double peer reviewed scientific journal dedicated to the furtherance of theoretical and factual knowledge about economic systems, economic structures and their change through time and space, at the subnational, national and international level. The journal contains sensible, matter-of-fact tools and data for modelling, policy analysis, planning, and decision making in large economic environments. ... Topics within the purview of the journal include linear and nonlinear multisectoral models of structure and structural change and development, ecosystems and the treatment of depletable resources, environmental and strategic questions, databases and data banks, large-scale computational methods and languages. The journal includes reviews of pertinent literature and special issues on new emerging areas of research in its field."
      Economic Systems Research, published by Routledge (Taylor and Francis Group), is the official journal of the International Input-Output Association. For more information, visit

    • Management and Governance

      From the publisher (Kluwer Academic Publishers): "The Journal of Management and Governance (JMG) is devoted to the inquiry into the cognitive and relational foundations of governance, and into the analysis and design of governance structures and their relations with management, in the private as well as the public sector. Governance goes beyond `corporate governance', and includes the modes of allocating decision, control and reward rights within and between economic organizations, giving rise to a variety of forms of market, industry, and firm organization. ... The journal is characterized by methodological pluralism. Any research strategy is admitted, if effective for the issue at hand and rigorous with respect to the rules of the adopted methodology -- be it laboratory or field experimentation, survey research, case study research or documental and economic statistics analysis."
      For more information, visit

    • Web Intelligence and Agent Systems

      From the publisher (IOS Press): "Web Intelligence and Agent Systems: An International Journal (WIAS) is the official journal of the Web Intelligence Consortium (WIC). WIAS seeks to collaborate with major societies and international conferences in the fields. Presently, it has established a tie with the IEEE/WIC International Conference on Web Intelligence (WI) and the IEEE/WIC International Conference on Intelligent Agent Technology (IAT). WIAS is a peer-reviewed journal which publishes four issues a year in both electronic and hard copies. WIAS aims to achieve a disciplinary balance between Web technology and intelligent agent technology. It is committed to deepening the understanding of computational, logical, cognitive, physical, and social foundations as well as the enabling technologies for developing and applying Web-based intelligence and autonomous agents systems. All manuscripts for consideration must be submitted electronically through an Electronic Submission Form, available from the WIC homepage at

    • Applied Soft Computing

      Applied Soft Computing (ASC) is the official journal of the World Federation on Soft Computing. Published by Elsevier, ASC is an international journal promoting an integrated view of soft computing to solve real life problems. Soft computing is a collection of methodologies that aim to exploit tolerance for imprecision, uncertainty, and partial truth to achieve tractability, robustness, and low solution cost. The goal of ASC is to publish high quality research, with rapid publication turn-around, in the areas of fuzzy logic, neural networks, evolutionary computing, rough sets, and other similar techniques to address real world complexities.
      For more information, visit

    Software and Hardware Announcements

    • Game Theory Software

      Gambit is a library of game theory software and tools for the construction and analysis of finite extensive and normal form games developed by a group of researchers at the California Institute of Technology. Gambit includes a graphical user interface, the Gambit Command Language, and a library of C++ source code for representing games, suitable for use in other applications. All Gambit source code is freely available, licensed under the GNU General Public License. For more information, visit

    • The Java Tutorial

      The Java Tutorial, maintained by Sun Microsystems, Inc., is a practical online guide for programmers with hundreds of complete working examples and numerous pointers to basic information (running your first program, getting started, learning the Java language, etc.). The site can be accessed at

    • Human-Environment Modelling

      A research group at Michigan State University let by Kostas Alexandridis maintains a research facility named the Human-Environment Modeling and Analysis Facility (HEMA). The research group is developing a multi-agent model called MABEL (Multi-Agent Based Economic Landscape) using the Swarm architecture. Their objective is to combine geographical, environmental, socioeconomic and institutional components into a unified simulation framework. They are also involved in developing artificial neural networks for static predictions of urban sprawl dynamics using the LTM (Land Transformation Model). For more information on Mabel and the LTM, visit the MABEL website at
      and the LTM website at


    • Web-Based Game Theory Experiments

      Ariel Rubinstein and Eli Zvuluny (School of Economics, Tel Aviv University, and Princeton University, New Jersey) maintain a website titled "Didactic Web-Based Experiments in Game Theory." The purpose of the site is to provide the teachers of basic game theory courses with free user-friendly didactic tools for conducting web-based thought experiments. The website can be assessed at

    • Honest Signalling

      Carl T. Bergstrom (Department of Zoology, University of Washington, Seattle) maintains a website titled "An Introduction to the Theory of Honest Signalling." Topics covered at this website include an introduction to the basic honest signalling problem, honest signalling problems in biology, honest signalling problems in economics, and the mathematics of honest signalling. The website can be accessed at

    • Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science

      The Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science (ICES) at the Arlington, Virginia campus of George Mason University uses human-subject laboratory experiments to test economic theories. The ICES is led by Professor Vernon L. Smith, a seminal contributor to the use of human-subject experiments in economics and one of two recipients of this year's Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel (the "Nobel Prize in Economics"). The ICES recently moved from its long-time home at the University of Arizona, where it was known as the Economic Science Laboratory. The ICES is currently focusing on the design and testing of markets for electric power, water, and spectrum licenses. For more information about the ICES, visit

    • Bibliography of Experimental Economics and Social Science

      Professor Charles A. Holt (Department of Economics, University of Virginia) maintains a site titled the "Y2K Bibliography of Experimental Economics and Social Science" that lists exactly 2000 publications in experimental economics and social science, together with about 500 discussion papers. Each entry is arranged by keyword topic. The database can be searched by author or keyword. To access the database, visit

    • Social Psychology Network

      The Social Psychology Network is an extensive database on social psychology maintained by Scott Plous (Weslyan University) and supported by the National Science Foundation. The database provides more than 5,000 links to psychology-related resources. The database can be searched by topic or keyword. For access to the database, visit

    • Complex Systems Network

      The complEX sYSTEms Network of exCEllence (EXYSTENCE) is supported by the Future Emerging Technologies unit of the European Commission. The aim of EXYSTENCE is to facilitate collaboration among European academic researchers and participants in business and industry who are interested in complex systems, from fundamental concepts to applications. For more information, visit

    • Self-Organized Networks

      Professor Albert-Laszlo Barabasi (Department of Physics, Notre Dame, Indiana) directs a research group focusing on the emergence and evolution of networks in various contexts (e.g., metabolic and genetic networks, actor networks, collaborative networks). A key finding of the group is that statistical physics permits these diverse networks to be captured within a single framework. Information about this research and related network research can be found at the Self-Organized Networks site maintained by the group, accessible at

    • Small World and Evolving Networks

      J. F. F. Mendes (University of Porto, Portugal) maintains a resource site titled "Small World and Evolving Networks" that provides pointers to publications, discussion papers, and links related to this topic area. The site can be accessed at

    • TEAMCORE Research Group

      Professor Milind Tambe (Computer Science, University of Southern California, Los Angeles) leads a TEAMCORE group whose research is focused on "agent teams." The basic principle advocated by the group is that "the right way to have agents (including software agents, robots and people) work together is via the concept of teamwork, as opposed to master-slave relationships, castes, contracts, etc." For more information about this research, visit

    Miscellaneous News Items

    • Center for Social Complexity

      George Mason University (Fairfax, Virginia) has established a multidisciplinary Center for Social Complexity (CSC) that will focus on the relatively new and growing field of computational social science, the scientific investigation of social phenomena using computer models, algorithms, and related information technology methods. Claudio Cioffi-Revilla, the director of the CSC, describes computational social science as the `exciting 21st century frontier in the social sciences.'

    • IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Computational Intelligence

      The Technical Committee on Computational Intelligence (TCCI) of the IEEE Computer Society deals with tools and systems using biologically and linguistically motivated computational paradigms, such as artificial neural networks, fuzzy logic, evolutionary optimization, self-organization, rough sets, data mining, Web intelligence, intelligent agent technology, parallel and distributed information processing, and virtual reality. The TCCI sponsors the IEEE International Conference on Tools with Artificial Intelligence (ICTAI), and co-sponsors the IEEE International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM) with TC-PAMI, the IEEE/WIC International Joint Conference on Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent Technology (WI/IAT) with the WIC.
      If you are a member of the IEEE Computer Society, you may join the TCCI without cost. For more information, visit the TCCI home page at

    • The Web Intelligence Newsletter

      From the Web Intelligence Newsletter (Issue 1, September 2002): "Web Intelligence (WI) is a new direction for scientific research and development that explores the fundamental roles as well as practical impacts of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and advanced Information Technology (IT) on the next generation of Web-empowered products, systems, services, and activities. It is the key and the most urgent research field of IT in the era of Web and agent intelligence."
      For additional information, visit

    Reminder: Items Requested for ACE News Notes and Complexity

    Just a reminder that if you have any ACE-related news items, or any information about ACE-related books, journals, software, websites, or teaching materials that 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 (along with website information if available) at the following address:

    Copyright © 2002 Leigh Tesfatsion. All Rights Reserved.