Exploring Coevolutionary Dynamics of Competitive Arms-Races Between Infinitely Diverse Heterogenous Adaptive Automated Trading Agents

Nikolay Alexandrov, Dave Cliff, Charlie Figuero

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


We report on a series of experiments in which we study the coevolutionary "arms-race'' dynamics among groups of agents that engage in adaptive automated trading in an accurate model of contemporary financial markets. At any one time, every trader in the market is trying to make as much profit as possible given the current distribution of different _other_ trading strategies that it finds itself pitched against in the market; but the distribution of trading strategies and their observable behaviors is constantly changing, and changes in any one trader are driven to some extent by the changes in all the others. Prior studies of co-adaptive dynamics in markets have concentrated on systems where traders can choose one of a small number of fixed pure strategies, and can change their choice occasionally, thereby giving a market with a discrete phase-space, made up of a finite set of possible system states. Here we present first results from two independent sets of experiments, where we use minimal-intelligence trading-agents but in which the space of possible strategies is continuous and hence infinite. Our work reveals that by taking only a small step in the direction of increased realism we move immediately into high-dimensional phase-spaces, which then present difficulties in visualising and understanding the co-adaptive dynamics unfolding within the system. We conclude that further research is required to establish better analytic tools for monitoring activity and progress in co-adapting markets.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Social Simulation
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 16th Annual Social Simulation Conference
EditorsMarcin Czupryna, Bogumil Kaminski
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-92843-8
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-92842-1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022
EventThe 16th Annual Social Simulation Conference - Cracow University of Economics, Krakow, Poland
Duration: 20 Sept 202124 Sept 2021
Conference number: 16

Publication series

NameSpringer Proceedings in Complexity
ISSN (Print)2213-8684
ISSN (Electronic)2213-8692


ConferenceThe 16th Annual Social Simulation Conference
Abbreviated titleSSC2021
Internet address


  • Co-evolution
  • Automated Trading
  • market dynamics
  • Agent-based model
  • Financial Markets
  • Agent-based Computational Economics


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring Coevolutionary Dynamics of Competitive Arms-Races Between Infinitely Diverse Heterogenous Adaptive Automated Trading Agents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this