Oliver Scholten

Oliver Scholten

On Emergent Financial Phenomena in Complex Spatial Systems

This research applies analytical techniques from the computational finance domain to virtual economies, specifically investigating emergent phenomena and local trading behaviors. From MMO economies to NPC trading in single player games, the world's economy can make a player's journey painfully slow or trivially fast - knowing how, why, and when to make adjustments to such a complicated system means applying state of the art methods used in real financial systems, running simulations at realistic scales, and accessing vast amounts of data. This work will not discriminate between analytical techniques, everything from neural network architectures to traditional statistical tools may be applied in order to develop a complete understanding of systems under inspection. Using a systematic and rigorous analytical approach means algorithms developed as part of this research will be directly applicable to a number of real-world problems, with virtual economies taking center stage.

Given previous research experience in complex systems each problem will be approached with emergent phenonena considered, as such contributions aim to be in both the complex systems domain and in computational finance. This research represents an exciting opportunity in game intelligence research with meaningful impact across almost all genres.

Oliver holds a first class degree in computer science from the University of Hull and progressed straight on to PhD research under a full scholarship at the same university. Following a year of research in the complex systems and statistics field(s) he is joining IGGI to apply analytical methods to virtual economies - a fascinating use-case of his work so far. His interests include analytical topics across a range of disciplines, including neural networks, econometrics, and financial statistics, along with emergent behaviors in complex systems. Utilizing such a broad range of techniques makes tackling applied problems especially exciting.

In between academia he completed a placement in the executive search industry doing technical and non-technical research. He is also winner of the Odgers Berndtson CEOx1Day competition (2016) and shadowed Kester Scrope of the same company. Outside of academic commitments he enjoys keeping fit, discussing cryptocurrencies, and gaming across a range of genres.

Home institution: York

Supervisors: Dr James Walker, Professor Peter Cowling

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