Readme File for the
Trade Network Game Laboratory (Version 2000b)

Last Updated: 16 January 2023

Site Maintained By:
Leigh Tesfatsion
Research Professor & Professor Emerita of Economics
Courtesy Research Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Heady Hall 260
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa 50011-1054
tesfatsi AT

TNGLab Home Page
TNGLab Program -- Version 2000b (Zip,2.6MB)

The Trade Network Game Lab (TNGLab) is a computational laboratory for the investigation of evolutionary trade network formation among strategically interacting buyers, sellers, and dealers.

The TNGLab is targeted for the Microsoft Windows desktop. The TNGLab has a clear, easily operated graphical user interface. It permits visualization of the formation and evolution of trade networks by means of real-time animations. Data tables and charts reporting descriptive performance statistics are also provided in real time.

A "manual" for the TNGLab which presents, motivates, and illustrates its use is available, as follows:

David McFadzean, Deron Stewart, and Leigh Tesfatsion, "A Computational Laboratory for Evolutionary Trade Networks" (pdf,508K), IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, Vol. 5, No. 5, October 2001, pp. 546-560. The published article is also available at IEEE Xplore.

Version 2000b of the TNGLab has been released as freeware by David McFadzean, Deron Stewart, and Leigh Tesfatsion (the copyright holders) under the terms of the Artistic License Agreement online here. An automatic installation program for the TNGLab (Version 2000b) is available online as a zip file here (zip,2.6MB). Unzipping this zip file will produce four files in addition to this readme file:

Execution of setup.exe will install the TNGLab in a directory of the user's choice. The installation will create three files:

Execution of wintng.exe will start the TNGLab, which opens in the Setting Screen. When the TNGLab is run, real-time data is generated and displayed in a variety of formats: in tabular numerical form on the Results Screen; in the form of charts on the Charts Screen; and in the form of a network animation on the Animation Screen. The physics of the animation can be customized to the application at hand by means of parameter settings available on the Physics Screen. These five screens can be accessed at any time by means of labelled buttons appearing on each separate screen.

In addition, when the TNGLab is run, detailed output data is read into a tng.out file in the same directory in which wintng.exe resides.

Configuration files for the TNGLab must end in the extension tng. Default.tng is the default configuration file for the TNGLab. The user can enter and run different parameter settings from the TNGLab Settings Screen. The "Save As" option on the TNGLab menu bar can be used to save parameter settings to customized configuration files for later use as long as these files end in the extension tng. These configuration files can be opened and read into the Settings Screen by using the "Open" option on the TNGLab menu bar.

The "Print" option on the TNGLab menu bar is not functional. Moreover, for better clarity, the Chart Screen only displays fitness (profit) levels ranging from -1.00 to 4.00. Consequently, to use the Chart Screen, payoffs for trade interactions should be scaled so that the average fitness levels of the buyers, sellers, and dealers lie in this range.

The file St6unst.log contains a detailed log of all working files installed on the user's computer during the installation of the TNG Lab. This log file can be used to uninstall the TNGLab by hand if an automatic "uninstall program" option is not available on the user's computer.

Copyright © David McFadzean, Deron Stewart, and Leigh Tesfatsion. All Rights Reserved.