I’m not sure I can take this project online with EXCEL. My current OilFinancier spreadsheet requires a few manual updates with each time step. And a new worksheet needs to be automatically created for each time step. From my FORTRAN days, I can see this problem easily solved. But unless I can find some super advanced features in EXCEL, I can’t see seamless moving from time step to time step happening.
I’ve got this project divided into three phases. First is the market trial. Admission will be free, and the AIs won’t be that competitive. In the first version, there are nine players (one real person and eight AI’s). The real player comes to the portal, submits a bid for the oil well on auction, presses NEXT and all the “spreadsheet” is automatically updated. Player is at the portal again to put in another bid. There might be several players at once, but they will be playing separate simulations. When a player leaves the simulation, all data is cast out. If he gets a winning score, he can place his name in the Hall of Fame. All data is then cast out.
For each player for each time step (OF DAY), there are about 15 accounting schedules that contain 100 to 200 bits of data. The real player will need to access all of his accounting schedules, plus about three basic schedules (income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow) of his competitors.
My software to be developed will be for accounting purposes. The real player will develop his own spreadsheet to do his financial analysis. The goal is to develop a good financial analysis to defeat the eight AI’s. The score will be kept in the share price of the nine players. For that, a real time graph of stock prices is necessary.
The real player should be using the principles of “present value” in his spreadsheet. The eight AI’s will be making bids based on a fairly simple process called “payout”. The software will handle the AI bids. If the spreadsheet is built, it should not take anymore than a minute for the real player to enter the oil well parameters into the spreadsheet and submit a reasonable bid. I will not be providing any financial spreadsheet.
If I get a good response, I will create three more AI versions, each with a higher degree of complexity. There will be a charge for each play (about $10 each). Good scores will be recorded in the HALL OF FAME. This second version will also have a fluctuating oil price and interest rates, something I haven’t been able to figure out with EXCEL without manual inputs.
And if those second AI versions goes well, I will then set up a third version for financiers to compete with each other, again for a fee. Much of the software for the first version can be applied to the third.
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Unfortunately Food Chain is not working now, and I cannot get hold of this fellow to fix it. I don’t think it is a big fix. The bug might even come from my server. The link to get to the interactive part is http://davevolek.org/FoodChain/LaboratoryTrials.html
Press the red graphic to get the error message.
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As I developed the mathematical model for both Food Chain and OilFinancier, I would estimate that OF is about four times more complex than Food Chain.
One drawback to the India connection was that we were 12 hours apart and could not communicate efficiently. He would set up a run; I would test it hours later and report the bugs back; he would fix the bugs hours later. This project took a lot longer than it should have because we were not in the same office. OilFinancier might take three years to build it this way. I probably could learn C or whatever and build OilFinancier myself in a year.
I have done some primitive HTML programming in the past, but I’m leaning to letting someone else interact with my OF accounting software.
If I get better at programming, this could be a great hobby. But this all depends on a few things arranging themselves in my life.