Economies are complicated systems encompassing micro behaviors, interaction patterns, and global regularities. Whether partial or general in scope, studies of economic systems must consider how to handle difficult real-world aspects such as asymmetric information, imperfect competition, strategic interaction, collective learning, and the possibility of multiple equilibria. Recent advances in analytical and computational tools are permitting new approaches to the quantitative study of these aspects. One such approach is Agent-based Computational Economics (ACE), the computational study of economic processes modeled as dynamic (...) systems of interacting agents. This chapter explores the potential advantages and disadvantages of ACE for the study of economic systems. General points are concretely illustrated using an ACE model of a two-sector decentralized market economy. Six issues are highlighted: Constructive understanding of production, pricing, and trade processes; the essential primacy of survival; strategic rivalry and market power; behavioral uncertainty and learning; the role of conventions and organizations; and the complex interactions among structural attributes, institutional arrangements, and behavioral dispositions. (shrink)
Real-world economies are open-ended dynamic systems consisting of heterogeneous interacting participants. Human participants are decision-makers who strategically take into account the past actions and potential future actions of other participants. All participants are forced to be locally constructive, meaning their actions at any given time must be based on their local states; and participant actions at any given time affect future local states. Taken together, these essential properties imply real-world economies are locally-constructive sequential games. This paper discusses a modeling approach, (...) Agent-based Computational Economics, that permits researchers to study economic systems from this point of view. ACE modeling principles and objectives are first concisely presented and explained. The remainder of the paper then highlights challenging issues and edgier explorations that ACE researchers are currently pursuing. (shrink)
The explosive growth in computational power over the past several decades offers new tools and opportunities for economists. This handbook volume surveys recent research on Agent-based Computational Economics (ACE), the computational study of economic processes modeled as open-ended dynamic systems of interacting agents. Empirical referents for “agents” in ACE models can range from individuals or social groups with learning capabilities to physical world features with no cognitive function. Topics covered include: learning; empirical validation; network economics; social dynamics; financial markets; innovation (...) and technological change; organizations; market design; automated markets and trading agents; political economy; social-ecological systems; computational laboratory development; and general methodological issues. (shrink)
This study provides a basic introduction to agent-based modeling (ABM) as a powerful blend of classical and constructive mathematics, with a primary focus on its applicability for social science research. The typical goals of ABM social science researchers are discussed along with the culture-dish nature of their computer experiments. The applicability of ABM for science more generally is also considered, with special attention to physics. Finally, two distinct types of ABM applications are summarized in order to illustrate concretely the duality (...) of ABM: Real-world systems can not only be simulated with verisimilitude using ABM; they can also be efficiently and robustly designed and constructed on the basis of ABM principles. (shrink)
An expected utility model of individual choice is formulated which allows the decision maker to specify his available actions in the form of controls (partial contingency plans) and to simultaneously choose goals and controls in end-mean pairs. It is shown that the Savage expected utility model, the Marschak- Radner team model, the Bayesian statistical decision model, and the standard optimal control model can be viewed as special cases of this goal-control expected utility model.
A generalization of the standard n-person game is presented, with flexible information requirements suitable for players constrained by bounded rationality. Strategies (complete contingency plans) are replaced by "policies," i. e., end-mean pairs of candidate goals and "controls" (partial contingency plans). The existence of individual objective functions over the joint policy choice set is axiomatized in terms of primitive preference and probability orders. Conditions are given for the existence of pure policy Nash equilibrium points in n-person games, and pure policy Nash (...) bargaining and equilibrium threat solutions in 2-person policy games. Connectedness of the policy and payoff sets is not required. (shrink)
Probability updating via Bayes' rule often entails extensive informational and computational requirements. In consequence, relatively few practical applications of Bayesian adaptive control techniques have been attempted. This paper discusses an alternative approach to adaptive control, Bayesian in spirit, which shifts attention from the updating of probability distributions via transitional probability assessments to the direct updating of the criterion function, itself, via transitional utility assessments. Results are illustrated in terms of an adaptive reinvestment two-armed bandit problem.