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Overview of the Conference
Previous meetings (Dublin 1999, Liege 2000, London 2001, Warsaw 2003 and Torino 2006) have served to build the community and foster links with disciplines such as econometrics and statistics. A wide range of topics has been covered including, for example, analysis of time series, option pricing, agent models and game theory. Scope It is now increasingly recognised by both the physics and economic communities that a number of conceptual and methodological approaches based on tools of statistical mechanics may be employed to understand particular economic phenomena in terms of the underlying direct interaction of agents and to model the dynamics of heterogeneous populations of economic agents. In addition to traditional economic notions of coordination via the price system and strategic interaction, models of collective phenomena are now making their appearance in many branches of microeconomics to describe, for example, herding behavior in financial markets. Other instances of the complexity approaches, which is familiar to physicists appear in evolutionary game theory, demand theory, behavioral economics and social economics. In macroeconomics and econometrics, there is a new appreciation of the role of individual heterogeneity which has provided new insights into economic aggregation. New models of the theory of growth, based on non-linear and stochastic processes have emerged and are being tested against real data. In finance, the analysis of time series, distributions of asset prices and price returns with attendant phenomena, such as scaling and universality, is leading to radically new insights and new questions, both theoretical and empirical, about the functioning of financial markets. All these approaches employ analytical and numerical tools from what has become known as the science of complexity, a new interdisciplinary approach, initially used for the analysis of systems with strongly interacting subunits in physics, biology, engineering. The aim of this interdisciplinary conference is to provide a forum for discussion that can examine the potential these tools and technologies offer, strengthen existing links and build new ties between the physics and economics communities. Thereby we hope to contribute to further new progress and developments in these important areas of science.
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