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Subject:

Re: Definition of an agent

From:

Gerd Wagner <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Gerd Wagner <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 17 Apr 2019 22:27:36 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Am 17.04.2019 um 17:06 schrieb Tesfatsion, Leigh S [ECONS]:
> Gerd --
>
> Your email below raises a challenging and important issue.
>
> In the following paper I give a precise set of seven modeling principles as defining principles for "Agent-based Computational Economics" (ACE), a variant of agent-based modeling.  My goal in developing these seven modeling principles is to capture "essential" properties of real-world systems, and only such properties.  That is, I am trying to devise modeling principles that do not **require** modelers to make assumptions that are not essential for the description of real-world systems.

This is certainly a good approach that helps to see the conceptual 
implications (such as interactivity and decision-making) and options 
(such as beliefs being distinguished from facts) of agency.

Generally, as pointed out by Axtell & Epstein (in the paper recommended 
by Pietro Terna in this thread), we use OOP for implementing agents in 
the form of objects with special properties and methods.

However, the diverse ABM comunities did not make much progress in 
establishing generic higher-level ABM concepts and relate them to each 
other and to standard OO modeling concepts for creating a form of unity 
of the field that allows to learn from each other.

Instead, the field is methodologically very much fragmented and people 
in different (sub)comunities tend to reinvent the wheel in their work.

-Gerd

> -------------
> Leigh Tesfatsion, "Modeling Economic Systems as Locally-Constructive Sequential Games," Journal of Economic Methodology, Vol. 24, Issue 4, 2017, 384-409.
>
> https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/econ_workingpapers/23/
>
> http://www2.econ.iastate.edu/tesfatsi/EconSystemsAsLCSGames.TalkSlides.LTesfatsion.pdf
>
>      Abstract: 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 (ACE), 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.
> ---------------------
>
> Comments?
>
> Leigh
>
> Leigh Tesfatsion
> Research Professor, and
> Professor Emerita of Economics,
>     Mathematics, and ECpE
> Heady Hall 260
> Iowa State University
> Ames, IA 50011-1054
> http://www2.econ.iastate.edu/tesfatsi/
> [log in to unmask]
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: News and discussion about computer simulation in the social sciences <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Gerd Wagner
> Sent: Wednesday, April 17, 2019 5:15 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [SIMSOC] Definition of an agent
>
> Am 17.04.2019 um 07:38 schrieb PhDr. Mgr. Frantisek Kalvas Ph.D.:
>> I have started finishing my little book on ABM and surprisingly I can't find any canonical definitions of "agent" and "agent-based modeling". I would very appreciate if you share with me your favorite definitions or if you direct me to your favorite or canonical sources.
> Notice the ambiguity of the term "agent" that may denote an entity in the real world, in which case its definition is an issue for philosophy/ontology/metaphysics, or a technical concept in software engineering.
>
> It's probably easier to define the term "agent-based modeling and simulation".
>
> In a recent paper
> (https://www.informs-sim.org/wsc18papers/includes/files/074.pdf),
> we have observed that "the term 'agent-based' simulation is used ambiguously both for individual-based simulation and cognitive agent simulation. The former, which is sometimes also called 'microscopic' simulation, takes the structure and interactions of individual entities into consideration for modeling complex systems,  whereas the latter  also models  the  cognitive  state  and  cognitive  operations  of  an agent.
>
> Thus, it  seems  natural  to  distinguish  between  a  weak concept  of agents,  commonly used  in  individual-based simulation where agents are entities that interact with their environment and with each other, and a stronger concept that is based on modeling the cognitive (or mental) state of agents. In any case, since the interactions of agents are based on discrete perception and action events, it is natural to view an agent-based modeling and simulation approach as an extension of the Discrete Event Simulation paradigm."
>
-- 

Dr. Gerd Wagner
(1) Professor, Brandenburg University of Technology, Germany
(2) Adjunct Associate Professor, Old Dominion University, USA
Email: [log in to unmask]  Tel: (+49|0) 355.69.2397
Web: http://oxygen.informatik.tu-cottbus.de/IT

-- 
(1) Chair of Internet Technology
Brandenburg University of Technology
Cottbus, Germany
-- 
(2) Department Modeling, Simulation
and Visualization Engineering
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA, USA

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