SIKS Masterclass: Evolutionary Agent-Based Policy Analysis

SIKS-phd-students are strongly encouraged to participate.

DATE: Thursday 16 April, 13.00-15.00

Room S607, Faculty of Exact Sciences
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
De Boelelaan 1081a
1081 HV  Amsterdam

Human societies are complex multi-agent systems where behavior evolves through imitation in a social  network, allowing heterogeneous agents with limited information to draw on the collective experience of the group. Despite these rather obvious facts, formal models for economic policy analysis are largely based on the idea of homogeneous agents that make independent rational decisions on the basis of individual information, without any reference to social interaction.

Two short introductory lessons will highlight the problematic from the point of view of both economics and exact sciences. Afterwards, experts from economics and from the exact sciences will discuss a number of questions, ranging from the historic reasons for this discrepancy, whether and where evolutionary agent-based policy analysis is feasible and preferred, and how an evolutionary agent-based approach can be validated in the eyes of mainstream economists. We will specifically discuss policies that address environmental issues as well as the current credit crisis.


13:00-13:30 Two short introductory lectures by Simona Cantono (Economics) and Volker Nannen (Artificial Intelligence).

13:30-14:30 Podium discussion of pre-formulated questions. Members of the podium include Prof. Jeroen van de Bergh (Economics) and Prof. Sorin Solomon (Physics).

14:30-15.00 Free discussion with an emphasis on future research projects.

Official program: