Government Computer News: LAX goes reliably random

February 6, 2008

Game theory algorithm improves security by putting police on unpredictable schedules

Police at Los Angeles International Airport are using a computer science doctoral dissertation to help make their operations so unpredictable that would-be terrorists could not target the airport’s facilities.

Terrorists can spend 18 to 36 months in surveillance of a potential target looking for vulnerabilities and patterns in security, said James Butts, deputy executive director of law enforcement for Los Angeles airports.

“If they choose you as a target, they are comfortable they can defeat your countermeasures,” Butts said. “So one of the best things you can do is not be predictable. We want to minimize their belief that they can have a success here.”

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