The accumulation of high frequency market data in recent years has revealed many surprising results. These results are interesting both from theoretical and practical standpoints. The mechanism of price formation is at the very heart of economics; it is also of paramount importance to understand the origin of the well-known anomalous ‘stylized facts’ in financial price series (heavy tails, volatility clustering, etc.). These issues are of obvious importance for practical purposes (organisation of markets, execution costs, price impact, etc.). This activity is also crucial to help the regulators, concerned with the organisation of liquidity in electronic markets and the issues raised by ‘high frequency trading’.
Correspondingly, this problem has been vigorously investigated by at least five different communities (economics, financial mathematics, econometrics, computer science and econo-physics), scattered in academic institutions, banks and hedge funds, with at present limited overlap and sometimes lack of visibility. On the other hand, due to the gigantic amount of available data, precise quantitative theories can now be accurately tested.
At the time where this conference series started in 2010, the interest for market microstructure had finally reached a stage where the interest for the theoretical breakthroughs of the pioneers in the field had become comparable to its practical importance for market practitioners. Thanks to the development of high frequency trading, ...