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

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

ACE Web Site Address:

Just a few notes 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 couple of 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.

1. New ACE Web Site Link: Pointers to Journals and Books

    A list of pointers to 23 journals and 9 publishing companies of
interest for ACE and complex adaptive systems researchers has been
linked to the ACE Web site.  Suggestions for additional pointers are

2. New Book from John Holland

     _Emergence: From Chaos to Order_, by John Holland.  Published
     by Addison-Wesley, 1998.  ISBN 0-201-14943-5.

From the back cover:
     "John Holland is an exceptionally imaginative person.  Often
surprising, and always engaging, he takes thereader on a journey
from simplicity to complexity, showing how a few `rules of
engagement' can lead to systems as bewilderingly rich as the neural
networks in our brains, our imune defenses against pathogents, and
even the ecosystems that maintain the biosphere so that life can
flourish.  And more:  Holland brings us back to our starting place
by suggesting how new ideas can illuminate complexity."
    --Sir Robert May, Chief Scientif Advisor to the U.K. Government.

For additional information, see the Addison-Wesley-Longman Publishing
Company site at

3. New ACE Software Link and Related Publications

   Note: A pointer to the first item below can be found at the ACE
         Web site software page.

The Avalanche Project:
        The Agent-Based Value Chain Experiment (Avalanche) is an
artificial world simulation in which mobile software agents build up
a value chain by using economic protocols to communicate with each
other in the absence of a central (Walrasian) coordinator. A key
objective is to investigate which local economic interaction
protocols result in global coordination.  The mobile software agents
are programmed in Java.  For more information, contact Torsten Eymann
( at the University of Freiburg, Germany.

Related Pubs (Courtesy of the UMBC AgentNews Webletter-see 9., below):

  _Constructing Intelligent Agents with Java: A Programmer's
     Guide to Smarter Applications_, by Joseph P. and Jennifer
     Bigus, Book and CD, John Wiley and Sons, January 1998,
     272 pages, ISBN 0-471-19135-3

     From the book blurb: "This book teaches the fundamentals of Java
     to programmers who have been constructing agents in other
     languages like C++.  The book includes code and examples for
     personal agents, network or Web agents, multi-agent systems,
     and commercial agents."

  _Developing Smarter Intelligent Agents Using Java_ (Java Master
     Series), by David Peterson, Book and CD, McGraw-Hill, December
     1997, 400 pages, ISBN 0-079-13643-5

     From the book blurb: "Comprehensive and complete, the
     book proceeds from theory and foundation to detailed
     explanations of applications and new products.  The
     CD delivers Java agent applets, demo software, and the
     author's own Java agent templates."

4. New Economic Dynamics Journal

                 _Review of Economic Dynamics_

Editors:  Thomas F. Cooley, David K. Levine, Ramon Marimon, Dale T.
      Mortensen, Edward Prescott, Thomas Sargent, and Roger Craine.

From the Academic Press Announcement:
   "_Review of Economic Dynamics_ is the official journal of the
Society for Economic Dynamics. The journal publishes meritorious
original contributions to dynamic economics.  The scope of the
journal is intended to be broad and to reflect the view of the
Society for Economic Dynamics that the field of economics is
unified by the scientific approach to economics.  We will publish
contributions in any area of economics provided they meet the
highest standards of scientific research."

See the journal Web site at for more

5. Two New ACE-Related Journals

   Note: Pointers to the journals listed below can be found
         at the ACE Web site journals and books page.

_Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation (JASSS)_
    The first issue of this new electronic journal, edited by Nigel
Gilbert (Department of Sociology, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK)
was published on-line at
Among other interesting items, the issue includes a provocative
review by Ken Binmore of Robert Axelrod's new book, _The Complexity
of Cooperation:  Agent-Based Models of Competition and Collaboration_,
Princeton University Press, 1997, 0-691-01567-6.

_Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems_
     This new Kluwer journal is edited by Nicholas Jennings
(U of London), Katia Sycara (Carnegie Mellon U), and Michael
Georgeff (Australian Artificial Intelligence Institute).  The
aim of the journal is to provide a forum for disseminating
significant new results in the foundations, development, analysis,
and applications of autonomous agents and multi-agent systems.
See for more

6.  New Book From Ken Binmore

    Ken Binmore has a forthcoming book, the sequel to his earlier
book _Playing Fair: Game Theory and the Social Contract I_, MIT
Press, 1994, 0-262-02363-6.

    _Just Playing: Game Theory and the Social Contract II_,
    MIT Press, April 1998, ISBN 0-262-02444-6.

From the MIT Press promotions page:
    In Volume 1 of _Game Theory and the Social Contract_, Ken
Binmore restated the problems of moral and political philosophy in
the language of game theory.  In Volume 2, _Just Playing_, he
unveils his own controversial theory, which abandons the metaphysics
of Immanuel Kant for the naturalistic approach to morality of David
Hume.  According to this viewpoint, a fairness norm is a convention
that evolved to coordinate behavior on an equilibrium of a society's
Game of Life. ... "

     For more information, check out the MIT Press Web site at

7. Fourth Annual Santa Fe Institute Graduate Workshop in Economics:
   Computational Modeling and Complexity

    The Santa Fe Institute Economics Program is again sponsoring
a summer workshop to bring together a group of advanced graduate
students and a small faculty for an intensive two week study of
computational economics.  The workshop will be held June 14-27,
1998, at the SFI.  Participation at the workshop will be limited to
15 graduate students.  Student travel, accommodations, and living
expenses will be supported by the workshop.  The application
deadline is April 3, 1998; completed applications should be sent to
John Miller, Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon
University, Pittsburgh, PA 15217.
     Check out the Web site at for
more information, or contact John Miller ( or
Scott E. Page (

8. New and/or Updated Announcements for ACE-Related Conferences

  Note: A list of pointers for these conferences can be found
        at the ACE Web site conference page.

     As announced in the November ACE news notes, the Second
International Conference on Autonomous Agents (Agents'98) will be
held in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, May 10--13, 1998.  A
pre-conference one-day workshop will be held on May 9 on the topic
"Artificial Societies and Computatational Markets."
     NEW: A Web site for the workshop has now been established at

     In connection with the launching of the _Journal of Public
Economic Theory_ (JPET), a new journal from Basil Blackwell,
a conference on theoretical public economics will be held May 27-30
at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.  The Program Chair is
Frank Page (; the Program Committee consists of
Marcus Berliant, John Conley, Herve Moulin, Leo Hurwicz, Shlomo
Weber, and Myrna Wooders.  If you would like to present a paper,
please email an abstract to Frank Page by March 15, 1998.
     P.S. Despite the description of this conference as a conference
on theoretical public economics, I was expressly asked to announce
this conference to the ACE news list and was assured that ACE-related
conference submissions would be welcome.  JPET's interest in
research taking a computational agent-based approach to public
economic issues is indicated by the fact that both Scott E. Page
and I were invited to be on the JPET editorial board.

     The Third International Workshop on Economics with
Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, organized by the SIEC (Society for
Social Interactions, Economics, and Computing), will be held May
29-30, 1998, in Acona, Italy.  The Programme Committee invites
submissions in all areas related to social interaction in economics,
models of learning, GAs and ANNs, aggregation heterogeneous agents,
heterogeneity and nonlinear hysteresis, computational methods for
macro, evolutionary games, panel data, and nonlinear econometrics.
Those wishing to contribute should submit a long abstract (about 800
words) by January 23, 1998.  For more information, visit the
SIEC Web site at

      Hewlett-Packard Research Labs, Bristol, UK, is sponsoring a
workshop on Agents, Alife, and Computational Economics, June 24-June
25, 1998. The AACE'98 Workshop, chaired by Chris Preist and Janet
Bruten of HP, is the second in a series.  The workshop will include
invited presentations by Bernardo Huberman, Blake LeBaron, Richard
Palmer, Tuomas Sandholm, and Leigh Tesfatsion; discussion and panel
sessions; and a poster display of participants' research.  The
workshop will focus on cross-disciplinary work that combines agency
and alife research with economics.  It will look at how economic
research can benefit from agent-based techniques and how agent-based
systems can use economic approaches in their reasoning.  Those
wishing to present a paper should send an abstract (1000 words max)
to Lin Jones (, the administrative coordinator
for the workshop, by May 1, 1998.  For more information, see the
workshop Web site at
     NOTE: This workshop is designed to precede the computational
economics (CEFEES98) conference in Cambridge, England, June 29-July 1.

     The Fifth International Workshop on Agent Theories,
Architectures, and Languages (ATAL'98) will be held July 2-July 8,
1998, in Paris.  ATAL'98 will address issues such as theories of
rational agency, software architectures for intelligent agents,
methodologies and programming languages for realising agents, and
software tools for applying and evaluating agent systems.  The
deadline for submissions is February 6, 1998.  For more information,

9. Additional ACE-Related Web Sites

  Note: A list of pointers to the following Web sites can be found
        at the ACE Web site -- see the "other ACE-related Web sites" page.

The Web Site on Evolutionary Economics:
    This site (
is a computationally oriented Web site on evolutionary economics
maintained by a research group at Aalborg University in Denmark.

The Evolutionary Economics Unit Web Site:
     This site ( is
the home page of the Evolutionary Economics Unit of the
Max-Planck-Institute, Jena, Germany, founded in October 1995.  It is
currently directed by Ulrich Witt.  The unit conducts research on a
broad range of topics related to evolutionary phenomena in the
economic domain.

Information and Coordination of Economic Activities Web Site:
     This site (
is maintained by a group of researchers at the University of Bonn,
including Reinhard Selten, winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize in Economics.

The Trento Computable and Experimental Economics Laboratory Web Site:
     This site ( is
maintained by the Department of Economics, University of Trento,
Trento, Italy.  It provides general information about the
experimental and computational activities of the laboratory.

UMBC AgentWeb: A Web Site Focusing on Intelligent Information Agents:
    UMBC AgentWeb ( is a Web site
featuring extensive information and resources about intelligent
information agents, software agents, softbots, knowbots, infobots,
etc.  It is maintained at the University of Maryland Baltimore
Country (UMBC) Lab for Advanced Information Technology by Tim Finin
(  To subscribe to the associated electronic mailing
list, the UMBC AgentNews Webletter, send email to
containing the string "subscribe agentnews".

The Autonomous Agents Web Site:
    This site (
provides an extensive library of links to Web sites focusing on
intelligent software agents.

Computer Simulation of Societies:
     This site (
is maintained by CRESS, the Centre for Research on Simulation in the
Social Sciences, at the Department of Sociology, University of
Surrey, Guilford, U.K.  Its purpose is to provide a library of links
related to social simulation around the world.

The Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the
Simulation of Behaviour:
     The Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behavior (AISB) site
( is organized and
run by members of the School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences at
the University of Essex, England.  The purpose of the site is to
maintain links to various AI resources as well as an archive of back
issues of the _AISB Quarterly_.

11. New Paper by Christoph Loch and Bernardo Huberman

    "A Punctuated Equilibrium Model of Technology Diffusion"
     by C. H. Loch and B. A. Huberman.

    The authors present an evolutionary model of technology diffusion
in which an old and a new technology are available, both of which improve
their performance incrementally over time.  Technology adopters make
repeated choices between the established and the new technology based on
their perceived performance, which is subject to uncertainty.  Both
technologies exhibit positive externalities, or performance benefits, from
others using the same technology.
     The postscript version of the paper can be obtained at the Web site

12. Reminder: News Items Requested for ACE News Notes and _Complexity_

     Just a reminder to send me ( any news items 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_.

Copyright 1998 Leigh Tesfatsion. All Rights Reserved.