nep-cmp New Economics Papers
on Computational Economics
Issue of 2008‒08‒21
seven papers chosen by
Stan Miles
Thompson Rivers University

  1. Stigmergic epistemology, stigmergic cognition By Marsh, Leslie; Onof, Christian
  2. Analysing the Effects of Tax-benefit Reforms on Income Distribution - A Decomposition Approach By Olivier Bargain; Tim Callan
  3. A parallel Matlab package for approximating the solution to a continuous-time stochastic optimal control problem By Azzato, Jeffrey D.; Krawczyk, Jacek B.
  4. A report on using parallel MATLAB for solutions to stochastic optimal control problems By Azzato, Jeffrey D.; Krawczyk, Jacek B.
  6. Dynamic LMP Response Under Alternative Price-Cap and Price-Sensitive Demand Scenarios By Li, Hongyan; Sun, Junjie; Tesfatsion, Leigh S.
  7. The interdependencies between food and biofuel production in European agriculture - an application of EUFASOM By P. Michael Link; C. Ivie Ramos; Uwe A. Schneider; Erwin Schmid; J. Balkovic; R. Skalsky

  1. By: Marsh, Leslie; Onof, Christian
    Abstract: To know is to cognize, to cognize is to be a culturally bounded, rationality-bounded and environmentally located agent. Knowledge and cognition are thus dual aspects of human sociality. If social epistemology has the formation, acquisition, mediation, transmission and dissemination of knowledge in complex communities of knowers as its subject matter, then its third party character is essentially stigmergic. In its most generic formulation, stigmergy is the phenomenon of indirect communication mediated by modifications of the environment. Extending this notion one might conceive of social stigmergy as the extra-cranial analog of an artificial neural network providing epistemic structure. This paper recommends a stigmergic framework for social epistemology to account for the supposed tension between individual action, wants and beliefs and the social corpora. We also propose that the so-called ‘‘extended mind’’ thesis offers the requisite stigmergic cognitive analog to stigmergic knowledge. Stigmergy as a theory of interaction within complex systems theory is illustrated through an example that runs on a particle swarm optimization algorithm.
    Keywords: Social epistemology; Extended mind; Social cognition; Particle swarm optimization
    JEL: D83 B53 D87
    Date: 2007–06–30
  2. By: Olivier Bargain (University College of Dublin); Tim Callan (Economic and Social Research Institute)
    Abstract: To assess the impact of tax-benefit policy changes on income distribution over time, we suggest a methodology based on counterfactual simulations. We start by decomposing changes in inequal- ity/poverty indices into three contributions: reforms of the tax-benefit structure (rules, rates, etc.), changes in nominal levels of market incomes and tax-benefit parameters (benefit amounts, tax bands, etc.), and all other changes in the underlying population (market income inequality, demographic composition, employment level, etc.). Then, the decomposition helps to extract an absolute measure of the impact of tax-benefit changes on inequality when evaluated against a distributionally-neutral benchmark, i.e. a situation where tax-benefit parameters are adjusted in line with income growth. We apply this measure to assess recent policy changes in twelve European countries. Finally, the full decomposition allows quantifying the relative role of policy changes compared to all other fac- tors. We provide an illustration on France and Ireland and check the sensitivity of the results to the decomposition order.
    Keywords: Tax-benefit policy, inequality, poverty, decomposition, microsimulation
    JEL: H23 H53 I32
    Date: 2007–08–26
  3. By: Azzato, Jeffrey D.; Krawczyk, Jacek B.
    Abstract: This article is a modified version of [AK06]. Both articles explain how a suite of MATLAB routines distributed under the generic name SOCSol can be used to obtain optimal solutions to continuous-time stochastic optimal control problems. The difference between the SOCSol suites described by the articles arises from the underlying computing platforms used. This article describes a beta version of SOCSol that utilises the MATLAB Parallel Computing Toolbox, while [AK06] describes a version of SOCSol that does not use parallel computing methods.
    Keywords: Computational techniques; Economic software; Computational methods in stochastic optimal control; Computational economics; Approximating Markov decision chains
    JEL: C63 C87
    Date: 2008–08–12
  4. By: Azzato, Jeffrey D.; Krawczyk, Jacek B.
    Abstract: Parallel MATLAB is a recent MathWorks product enabling the use of parallel computing methods on multicore personal computers. SOCSol is the generic name of a suite of MATLAB routines that can be used to obtain optimal solutions to continuous-time stochastic optimal control problems. In this report, we compare the performance of a new version of SOCSol utilising parallel MATLAB with that of another version not using parallel computing methods.
    Keywords: Computational techniques; Economic software; Computational methods in stochastic optimal control; Computational economics; Approximating Markov decision chains
    JEL: C63 C87
    Date: 2008–08–12
  5. By: Tai-Yu Ma (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - CNRS : UMR5593 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat); Jean-Patrick Lebacque (Génie des Réseaux de Transport et Informatique Avancée - INRETS)
    Abstract: In this paper, we propose a dynamical activity-chaining model for individuals' daily activity pattern formation over a multimodal network. The proposed activity-based approach considers travel demand decisions as subsidiary decisions resulting from activity chaining behavior on the basis of individual’s scheduled activity programs. The decision making process is on the following: an individual aims to derive better satisfaction for the implementation of his scheduled activities in a sequential and heuristic way. Based on the experienced performance of choices made on previous days, a dynamical user equilibrium can be achieved by the individual’s adaptation to a changing environment. For multimodal transport system modeling and simulation, a multiagent-framework is applied to describe both supply and demand dynamics in a congested multimodal network. We propose a node-based Cross-Entropy approach to solve the dynamical activity-chaining based traffic assignment problem. This approach derives iteratively optimal probability distributions for modal, departure time and route choices based on experienced performance of choice alternatives. The numerical study of the proposed approach is currently under investigation.
    Keywords: activity-chaining model, multimodal transport system, Cross-Entropy approach, multi-agent system
    Date: 2008–08–01
  6. By: Li, Hongyan; Sun, Junjie; Tesfatsion, Leigh S.
    Abstract: This study investigates the complicated nonlinear effects of demand-bid price sensitivity and supply-offer price caps on Locational Marginal Prices (LMPs) for bulk electric power when profit-seeking generators can learn over time how to strategize their supply offers. Systematic computational experiments are conducted using AMES, an open-source agent-based test bed developed by the authors. AMES models a restructured wholesale power market operating through time over an AC transmission grid subject to line constraints, generation capacity constraints, and strategic trader behaviors.
    Keywords: Restructured wholesale power markets; Agent-based test bed; Locational marginal prices; demand-bid price sensitivity; supply-offer price caps
    JEL: B4 C0 C6 C7 C9 D4 D43 D8 L1 L13 Q4
    Date: 2008–08–19
  7. By: P. Michael Link; C. Ivie Ramos; Uwe A. Schneider; Erwin Schmid; J. Balkovic; R. Skalsky (Research unit Sustainability and Global Change)
    Abstract: In the continuous quest to reduce anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide, the production and use of organically grown fuels in Europe has increased in importance in the recent past. However, the production of so-called biofuels is a direct competitor of agricultural food production for land, labor, water resources etc. with both land use options influencing each other depending on the respective boundary conditions defined by political regulations and economic considerations. In this study we will explore the economic and technical potentials of biofuels in Europe as well as the interdependencies between these two land use options for different economic incentives for biofuels using the European Forest and Agriculture Sector Optimization Model (EUFASOM). Key data on biodiesel and ethanol production have been gathered and are used for calibration of the model. The simulations extend until the year 2030, for which results are presented. Results indicate that moderate production targets of biofuels lead to an expansion of mainly the biodiesel production while more ambitious targets call for a focus on bioethanol. This has to do with the different levels of production efficiency depending on the production output. Growth of bioethanol feedstock is spread over entire Europe while the production of biodiesel feedstock occurs mainly in Central Europe.
    Keywords: biodiesel, bioethanol, Europe, EUFASOM, modeling
    JEL: Q18 Q19 Q54
    Date: 2008–07

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