June 13-15, 2005 at the University of Essex, United Kingdom SPONSORS FORESIGHT (OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY;2005 INTELLIGENTINFRASTRUCTURE SYSTEMS PROJECT)www.foresight.gov.uk BRITISH TELECOMwww.bt.com FGS CAPITAL LLPwww.fgscapital.com STATPRO www.statpro.com CCFEA CITY ASSOCIATES and ECONOMICS DEPARTMENT, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEXwww.essex.ac.uk/ccfeawww.essex.ac.uk/economics
WELCOME : WEHIA 2005 As Program Co-Chair and Host I extend this welcome on behalf of my program Co-chairs Neil Johnson and Shyam Sunder and also of CCFEA, the new fledgling centre in Computational Finance and Economic Agents. We owe much to the young stalwarts doing Masters and PhD degrees in Computational Finance and Economic Agents.
WEHIA 10 ANNIVERSARY:COMING OF AGE • It is a great privilege and good fortune for Essex University and for CCFEA to be able to host the 10 Anniversary of an Economics Conference (WEHIA) exclusively focussed on an exciting new subfield of Economics. • This new subfield of Economics uses the artificial environment of agent modelling to understand phenomena that are anomalous in deductive models of traditional Economics. • Increasingly it is felt, the so called complexity sciences which is interdisciplinary in scope is the way forward not only to understand socio-economic systems but also to pragmatically intervene and design institutional change.
PIONEERS HERE TODAY • What is remarkable about this conference is that almost all of the pioneers in the field are here from Caltech, Yale, Italy and Europe to expound on how their very original views are moulding a new set of ideas for Economics in the 21 st century. • Economists in the UK have been somewhat under the cosh with bureaucracy dictating what is ‘good’ science and hence it is somewhat historic that this is the first Economic Agents conference being held in the UK.
History of WEHIA • Alan Kirman will give us a brief history of how a group of ‘maverick’ (in England this is a compliment as the English love them) economists in Italy and Europe started opening up Economics to new developments in the methodology of science. • Today we have evidence here how this way of thinking is found in North America, Europe, Asia and Japan. • One of our luminaries here, Benoit Mandelbrot (in his recent book) happily refers to himself as a maverick. Except in his case, this must be qualified with “incorrigibly creative”.
7 Special Sessions and Master Classes • What is even more remarkable is that almost without exception all our Keynote Speakers have paid their own way to be here. • I was told that this is unheard of that such VIPs should give off their time and expertise not only with extensive ‘master classes’ but also by being here for the full length of the conference. • John Ledyard in his email nicely summed up the sense of intellectual buzz and expectation of being at WEHIA 2005 : the buzz one gets “from meeting new people and discussing new ideas”.
RUBRIC OF THE PROGRAM FOR 3 DAYS HAS A NATURAL FLOW • Day 1, 13 June: Focus here is on the statistical signatures of complex dynamical systems characteriszed by non-Gaussian phenomena of fat tails and fractal nature of volatility. • We are privileged to have Benoit Mandelbrot, the inventor of fractals and polymath extra ordinaire, to give us his theory of why stock market behaviour is better explained by this theory rather than traditional analysis which assumes that the underlying randomness of markets is similar to the tosses of a fair coin. • Cars Hommes (Amsterdam)will give us an overview on the necessity for heterogeneity in interactions to sustain observed self-organized outcomes. • Rama Cont (Ecole Polytechique), a well known econophysicist will expound on how agent models can throw light on the correlation in returns.
WEHIA 2005 : Day 2, 14 June • Covers the fundamental pragmatic aspects of economic agent models in the new field of Computational Mechanism Design and in understanding better the role of Economic networks • Sanjeev Goyal (Essex) investigates how the entire structure of a socio-economic network impinges on an agent’s decisions. Jing Yang (BOE) will analyse interbank network structure to understand their implications for the endogenous generation of systemic risk. • In pre internet economic – markets were a given. In the post internet era the design and implementation of markets/ trading platforms is in the purview of all. John Ledyard who is famous for designing the markets for pollution rights will give us insights into this. Shyam Sunder who is famous for having discovered the irrelevance of intelligence in achieving efficiency at a collective level in some widely used auction markets will give an overview of where we are at in the experimental and computational Economics.
Day 3 emphasizes the fundamental evolutionary and self-organizing aspects of complex coevolving socio-economic systems • Peter Allen and Phil Blythe analyse urban environments of cities and their transport. Arthur Robson looks at the basic issues of life and mortality and the tradeoff between patching up/repair and going to seed while Herbert Dawid look at economics from an evolutionary perspective aided by agent models. • Last but not least, Richard Bartle (the inventor of multi-user Dungeons) and Dave Birch will give us an exhilarating view of how interactions in virtual environments of games is taking on a life of their own.
WEHIA 2005 Sponsors, close to 200 delegates • WEHIA 2005 sponsors are also here personally because as with the OST Foresight group, BT and STATPro – they are involved in research in the area with potential far reaching operational implications for how we will do things in the not too distant future. • Finally, for the riches of the WEHIA 2005 program, in addition to Neil and Shyam I have to thank Jasmina Arifovic, Alan Kirman, and Thomas Lux. Michael Dempster and Ken Binmore are here in spirit; Shyam had lunch with Benoit and convinced him to come; Michael helped getting Benoit from Cambridge to here. Ken had emailed me from Caltech about John Ledyard though it is Jasminawho finally convinced him to come.As I must add also Cars Hommes.Andreas Krause scheduled the parallel sessions. • Lynda Triolo and Julie Peirson CCFEA administrators have masterminded the conference organization. For anyhouse keeping details -pls contact them at desk in foyer. And please make sure to upload presentations at least at coffee breaks before your talk as we are running a tight ship time wise.