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Market Design Using Agent-Based Models

In: Handbook of Computational Economics

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  • Marks, Robert

Abstract

This chapter explores the state of the emerging practice of designing markets by the use of agent-based modeling, with special reference to electricity markets and computerized (on-line) markets, perhaps including real-life electronic agents as well as human traders. The paper first reviews the use of evolutionary and agent-based techniques of analyzing market behaviors and market mechanisms, and economic models of learning, comparing genetic algorithms with reinforcement learning. Ideal design would be direct optimization of an objective function, but in practice the complexity of markets and traders' behavior prevents this, except in special circumstances. Instead, iterative analysis, subject to design criteria trade-offs, using autonomous self-interested agents, mimics the bottom-up evolution of historical market mechanisms by trial and error. The chapter highlights ten papers that exemplify recent progress in agent-based evolutionary analysis and design of markets in silico, using electricity markets and on-line double auctions as illustrations. A monopoly sealed-bid auction is examined in the tenth paper, and a new auction mechanism is evolved and analyzed. The chapter concludes that, as modeling the learning and behavior of traders improves, and as the software and hardware available for modeling and analysis improves, the techniques will provide ever greater insights into improving the designs of existing markets, and facilitating the design of new markets.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Leigh Tesfatsion & Kenneth L. Judd (ed.), 2006. "Handbook of Computational Economics," Handbook of Computational Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 2, number 2, 00.
    This item is provided by Elsevier in its series Handbook of Computational Economics with number 2-27.

    Handle: RePEc:eee:hecchp:2-27

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookseriesdescription.cws_home/BS_HE/description

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    Cited by:
    1. Rich, Karl M. & Ross, R. Brent & Baker, A. Derek & Negassa, Asfaw, 2011. "Quantifying value chain analysis in the context of livestock systems in developing countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 214-222, April.
    2. Banal-Estañol, Albert & Rupérez Micola, Augusto, 2011. "Behavioural simulations in spot electricity markets," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 214(1), pages 147-159, October.
    3. Rich, Karl M. & Baker, Derek & Negassa, Asfaw & Ross, R. Brent, 2009. "Concepts, applications, and extensions of value chain analysis to livestock systems in developing countries," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51922, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Robert Marks, 2007. "Validating Simulation Models: A General Framework and Four Applied Examples," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 30(3), pages 265-290, October.
    5. Steven Kimbrough & Frederic Murphy, 2009. "Learning to Collude Tacitly on Production Levels by Oligopolistic Agents," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 33(1), pages 47-78, February.
    6. Albert Banal-Estañol & Augusto Rupérez-Micola, 2010. "Are agent-based simulations robust? The wholesale electricity trading case," Economics Working Papers 1214, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    7. Herbert Dawid & Joern Dermietzel, 2006. "How Robust is the Equal Split Norm? Responsive Strategies, Selection Mechanisms and the Need for Economic Interpretation of Simulation Parameters," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 371-397, November.
    8. Block, C.A. & Collins, J. & Ketter, W. & Weinhardt, C., 2009. "A Multi-Agent Energy Trading Competition," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2009-054-LIS, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus Uni.
    9. Filatova, Tatiana & Parker, Dawn Cassandra & van der Veen, Anne, 2011. "The Implications of Skewed Risk Perception for a Dutch Coastal Land Market: Insights from an Agent-Based Computational Economics Model," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 40(3), December.

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