An Introduction to Simulated Annealing Algorithms for the Computation of Economic Equilibrium

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Economic equilibrium computation has raised the issue of global optimization algorithms since economic equilibrium problems can be cast as a global optimization problem. However, nearly all conventional algorithms stop when they find a local optimum. Over the last decade a number of new optimization algorithms have appeared, simulated annealing is one of them. It is a powerful stochastic search algorithm applicable to a wide range of problems for which little prior knowledge is available, and it asymptotically probabilistically converges to a global optimum. In this paper, we will give a brief introduction to simulated annealing and apply it to the computation of economic equilibrium. We also reported our computational experience in the paper. This early result shows that the application of simulated annealing to computation of economic equilibrium is encouraging and it deserves further research.

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