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EEL 4817 Machine Learning II: Agent-Based Economic Development, Spring 2011.

Research Projects


A novel approach for modeling innovation-based economic growth using computational agents and adaptive resource transformers

Agent-based computational economics (ACE) has increased in popularity over the past few years as a tool to both understand and explain complex economic phenomenon. Econosim is a new ACE model being developed at the University of Central Florida. It differs from many existing ACE models by removing the distinction between firms and households. In Econosim, every economic agent is both a consumer and a producer. This decision results in production and trade becoming the core economic behaviors of every economic agent. In addition, we explicitly represent production knowledge as a set of resource transformation rules that are subject to evolutionary forces. This representation allows population dynamics to alter the technological landscape of the economy and provides a straightforward method of exploring innovation and knowledge driven economic growth.  Each agent in our model, called an adaptive resource transformer (ART), lives within an economic ecosystem where individuals are connected by social networks and the actions of an agent can have unintended consequences beyond its nearest neighbors. Econosim is intended to serve as a computational economics laboratory that can be used to verify and explore existing economic ideas and theories, and help inspire and create new ones.  It is also intended to serve as a tool for exploring the impact of economic policy by allowing modelers to view the potential consequences of their decisions in silico, before they are enacted in the real world. The current model is written in Java, using the MASON toolkit. It is being employed to explore the benefits of entrepreneurial support organizations, such as university incubators, and examine the structure and influence of economic networks.

Improving STEM Education Using a Participatory, Social and Collaborative Architecture for Learning

This research focuses on understanding the most effective ways to use information technologies for STEM undergraduate education. We have partnered with the Mathematics department and focus on Calculus I and II classes. The Discuzz project is a partnership with Microsoft Corporation to use their emerging social networking technologies (Discuzz system) in a calculus II class the Summer 2012 and use the other five Calculus II sections as control group.