Algorithmic trading

Rise of the algorithms

We speak to John Bates, chief technology officer at Progress Software, about how technology can help improve market surveillance and prevent flash crashes.
Sully Sullenberger motivates the IT crowd at Progress Revolution last month

In Robert Harris’s novel The Fear Index a brilliant physicist creates an artificially intelligent trading algorithm that is fabulously successful and ruthlessly smart. Analysing real-time data from all over the internet, it shorts an airline’s stock before one of its planes crashes, deliberately causes the flash crash in New York and even sends a German cannibal to eat its creator. In other words, it is the ultimate trader.

The algorithm, Vixal-4, doesn’t seem like much of a fiction after visiting Progress Software’s convention last month in Boston aptly named Progress Revolution. For the...

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