Iowa State University

Department of Economics

Contact: Prof Leigh Tesfatsion <>

Course: Agent-Based Computational Economics (ACE)

Lecturer: Prof Leigh Tesfatsion

Contents: Introduction to ACE, Building ACE Laboratories, Learning and the Embodied Mind, Financial Market Illustrations, Economic Networks, ACE Modelling of Economic Processes with Strong Learning/Network Effects, and Labor Market Illustrations.

Duration: 1 Semester
Offered by regular staff members?: Yes
Average number and education level of students: 30

Suggested Literature:

** Leigh Tesfatsion, "Agent-Based Computational Economics: Growing Economies From the Bottom Up" (pdf,216K), Artificial Life, Volume 8, No. 1, 2002, 55-82.

** Powerpoint ACE Tutorial (1697K,ppt), by Leigh Tesfatsion.

** Andy Clark (text), Preface: "Deep Thought Meets Fluent Action" (pp. xi-xiii) and "Introduction: A Car with a Cockroach Brain" (pp. 1-8)

** David Batten (text), Preface (pp. xiii-xv) and Chapter 1: "Chance and Necessity" (pp. 1-43)

** Leigh Tesfatsion, Notes on Batten Chapter 1 (html) Department of Economics, ISU, February 8, 2002.

** Leigh Tesfatsion, "Comparing and Contrasting Bak's Sandpile model and Schelling's City Segregation Model" (pdf,48K), Department of Economics, ISU, January 29, 2002.

* Jonathan Rauch, "Seeing Around Corners", The Atlantic Monthly, April 2002, pp. 35--48.
Rauch surveys early and ongoing research on the computational modeling of artificial societies. He discusses early seminal work by Thomas Schelling (University of Maryland) in the 1970s on the evolution of spatial segregation in cities. He also discusses work on artificial societies (e.g., Sugarscape) carried out at the Brookings Institution (Washington, D.C.) by Joshua Epstein, Robert Axtell, and Ross Hammond (now at the University of Michigan). A third pursuit surveyed by Rauch is the effort by Joshua Epstein, in collaboration with two University of Arizona archaeologists (George Gumerman and Jeffrey Dean), to build an artificial society exhibiting the known characteristics of the actual Long House Valley Anasazi culture that existed in the southwest from approximately A.D. 800 to A.D. 1350. Interested readers can also view animations in QuickTime format of some of the artificial societies discussed in Rauch's article.

* Nathan Winslow, "Introduction to Self-Organized Criticality and Earthquakes" (html,12 pages), discussion paper, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Michigan, circa 1996.

* Neat graphical depictions of self-organized criticality in Bak's sandpile model, generated by Dan Ashlock, ISU mathematics professor

* Interactive site (in French) maintained by Denis Phan (ENST Bretagne) on the Schelling city segregation model. Users can run a version of the Schelling model under a variety of user-specified parameter settings.

David F. Batten, Discovering Artificial Economics: How Agents Learn and Economies Evolve, Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado, 2000, ISBN: 0-8133-9770-7. CLOSED RESERVE.

Andy Clark, Being There: Putting Brain, Body, and World Back Together Again, MIT Press, Paperback Edition, 1998, ISBN: 0-262-53156-9. CLOSED RESERVE.


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