The Financial Toy Room SIMulator

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FTRSim is a C++ library for simulating financial markets, where agents interact exchanging assets and cash. The library implements the Financial "Toy Room" (FTR), a model developed at LEM laboratory of Scuola Superiore S.Anna.


The Financial Toy-Room (FTR) is a micro-founded simulation environment for both decentralized and centralized trade in a financial asset. Some aspects of the representation are intentionally kept very simple, and in a sense abstract: quite diverse models may indeed be implemented as particular instantiations of the general template presented in the following.

Obvious common points of departure are (i) the acknowledgment of the limitations of models of market dynamics centered upon the behavior of a mythical representative agent endowed with unbiased forward-looking expectations, and conversely (ii) the challenge of nesting the theory into an explicit account of heterogeneous, interacting agents.

In FTR we emphasize heterogeneity among interacting agents who might endogenously evolve beliefs, behaviors and mental models, together with the specific architectural traits of markets, i.e. the mechanisms on the basis of which interactions among agents occur.

FTR, by allowing different physics of interaction and different types of behaviours which are legal in a given market architecture, makes it possible to represent a wide ensemble of market architectures. When compared to other artificial markets, it enlarges the scope of analysis in several respects.

First, FTR entails easy experimentation with different types of agents, both in terms of behavioral and cognitive patterns, and in terms of learning procedures.

Second, it allows exploration of the properties of different architectural and institutional traits, especially with respect to the physics of interactions (e.g. the specific mechanism for decentralized encounters), and the information availability by individual traders or groups of them.

Third, FTR allows to represent time in alternative and possibly quite sophisticated ways.

For a more detailed description of the Financial Toy-Room, please see the overview section of this web site.

Latest news

  • Nov. 24 2000: released version 0.2, now it compiles without generating warnings and all optimizations enabled.
  • Nov. 6 2000: the first alpha version has been released!

Getting in touch

FTRSim has been developed according to the Open Source philosophy. You can freely re-distribute the source code but you cannot use it or part of it for commercial purposes without out explicit permission. For further details refer to the LICENSE file in the distribution.

If you would like to contribute to this project, or you want to send a bug report, please contact me at In the next future we will set up a mailing list for this project. Keep in touch!!