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Agent-Based Modeling of the El Farol Bar Problem

Shu-Heng Chen () and Umberto Gostoli

No 1120, ASSRU Discussion Papers from ASSRU - Algorithmic Social Science Research Unit

Abstract: In this paper, we study the self-coordination problem as demonstrated by the well-known El Farol problem (Arthur, 1994), which has later become what is known as the minority game in the econophysics community. While the El Farol problem or the minority game has been studied for almost two decades, existing studies are mostly only concerned with efficiency. The equality issue, however, has been largely neglected. In this paper, we build an agent-based model to study both efficiency and equality and ask whether a decentralized society can ever possibly self-coordinate a result with the highest efficiency while also maintaining the highest degree of equality. Our agent-based model shows the possibility of achieving this social optimum. The two key determinants to make this happen are social preferences and social networks. Hence, not only doe institutions (networks) matter, but individual characteristics (preferences) also matter. The latter are open to human-subject experiments for further examination.

Keywords: El Farol Bar problem; Social Preferences; Social Networks; Self-Organization; Emergence of Coordination. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-evo and nep-gth
Date: 2011
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