The Third Inforum World Conference, at Łódź, Poland
The third Inforum world conference was held in Łódź, Poland, from September 4 to September 8, 1995. The conference was held in the beautiful conference building of the University of Łódź, located in the outskirts of Łódź, in a somewhat rural area. The conference center also served as a hotel and restaurant.
Here is a brief summary of the papers and events of the conference:
- Monday, September 4
- This was the opening ceremony of the conference, attended by local television cameras, which also took footage of the proceedings throughout the day. After status reports from various members, Junko Niwa and Kae Takase of Japan showed off the advanced data retrieval and display features of the Keio University Inforum web site, which made use of Java applets. Paul Salmon announced the creation of a new modeling course at the University of Rennes, at which Inforum partners would be invited to teach. After lunch, Gabrielle Antille spoke about the progress with the new Swiss model called SWIMM. Georg Ewerhart described a new intelligent modeling system they are building with Borland Delphi, and announced that they too will soon have a web site. The evening closed with descriptions by Clopper and Doug Meade on new developments in G, Compare and the new Interdyme 2.0. That evening we had grilled kielbasa and Polish beer.
- Tuesday, September 5
- The morning topic was the "linkage of models", chaired by Maurizio Grassini. Doug Nyhus gave a history of the Inforum linked system, and Qiang Ma presented the impressive equation estimation results of his new system. Next, Juan Carlos chaired a session on the modeling of imports. Bernd Meyer spoke about the system of equations the Germans are using, and Marco Barnabani described the Kalman filter technique he was using in import equations. After lunch, Mr. Hasegawa presented a review of experiments with the Japanese model to include capital investment in the productivity equations, and Pavol Karasz of Slovakia described the activities of his group. The computer lab that evening consisted of a "three ring circus", with Qiang Ma demonstrating his world trade database, Junko Niwa the web pages running on a Sun Unix laptop, and Doug Meade presenting a tutorial in Interdyme 2.0. A ceremonial dinner and party was held that evening, complete with Polish vodka and roast suckling pig. Clopper had to excuse himself for quite a long while from this gala affair to grant an interview to a local radio reporter.
- Wednesday, September 6
- The morning topic this day was "macroeconomic aspects of Inforum models". Georg Ewerhart spoke about general approaches in development forecasting equations in light of data availability, and problems in linking macroeconomic data to input-output accounts. Bernd Meyer discussed environmental modeling, as well as opening the floor to a fuller discussion of joint collaboration. Clopper gave a lengthy talk on his work in developing an accountant in SNA-based models, giving an example of a "tautological model", and the method of modeling by behavioral proportions. Paul Salmon then gave a talk on the current and planned structure of the FUR model of France. Doug Meade related his experiences achieving macroeconomic stability in the JIDEA model, and of building an SNA-based accountant for this model. In the afternoon there was a panel discussion of topics relating to the international system, with an interest in modeling direct foreign investment. The afternoon session was shortened by a visit to the Łódź Voivoda, which we heard a lecture on the current economic situation in Łódź and in Poland.
- Thursday, September 7
- The morning session of research reports started with a talk by Bernd Meyer on the German experience in modeling of prices and profits. Maurizio gave a presentation in matrix form of the typical structure of an Inforum model. This was followed by a talk by Czeslaw Lipinski on the sensitivity of a model to changes in input-output coefficients. Mr. Sasai presented the results of a "hollowing out" study recently completed for MITI. Dirk wrapped up the morning session with a highly entertaining account of his consulting activities in Mali. The afternoon session was devoted to more discussion of joint cooperative efforts, including the publication of an Inforum book. We decided to have the next (4th) Inforum World Conference in Japan in 1996, and the following years in Italy, and Spain.
- Friday, September 8
- Friday was the day of our field trip. We traveled to the birthplace of Chopin, where we were treated to a passionate performance of some of Chopin's finest pieces, sitting on benches in an outdoor garden with a blue sky overhead. After this we traveled to see a beautiful palace and park, where we had a typical Polish lunch.
Here is a picture of many of the participants at the Łódź conference, posing in front of our wonderful conference center.