Understanding agent-based models of financial markets : A bottom–up approach based on order parameters and phase diagrams
Tan, James Peng Lung
Cheong, Siew Ann
Date of Issue2012
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
We describe a bottom–up framework, based on the identification of appropriate order parameters and determination of phase diagrams, for understanding progressively refined agent-based models and simulations of financial markets. We illustrate this framework by starting with a deterministic toy model, whereby N independent traders buy and sell M stocks through an order book that acts as a clearing house. The price of a stock increases whenever it is bought and decreases whenever it is sold. Price changes are updated by the order book before the next transaction takes place. In this deterministic model, all traders based their buy decisions on a call utility function, and all their sell decisions on a put utility function. We then make the agent-based model more realistic, by either having a fraction fb of traders buy a random stock on offer, or a fraction fs of traders sell a random stock in their portfolio. Based on our simulations, we find that it is possible to identify useful order parameters from the steady-state price distributions of all three models. Using these order parameters as a guide, we find three phases: (i) the dead market; (ii) the boom market; and (iii) the jammed market in the phase diagram of the deterministic model. Comparing the phase diagrams of the stochastic models against that of the deterministic model, we realize that the primary effect of stochasticity is to eliminate the dead market phase.
Physica A : statistical mechanics and its applications