Urban Security: Game-Theoretic Resource Allocation in Networked Physical Domains


Jason Tsai, Zhengyu Yin, Jun-young Kwak, David Kempe, Christopher Kiekintveld, and Milind Tambe. 2010. “Urban Security: Game-Theoretic Resource Allocation in Networked Physical Domains .” In National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).


Law enforcement agencies frequently must allocate limited resources to protect targets embedded in a network, such as important buildings in a city road network. Since intelligent attackers may observe and exploit patterns in the allocation, it is crucial that the allocations be randomized. We cast this problem as an attacker-defender Stackelberg game: the defender’s goal is to obtain an optimal mixed strategy for allocating resources. The defender’s strategy space is exponential in the number of resources, and the attacker’s exponential in the network size. Existing algorithms are therefore useless for all but the smallest networks. We present a solution approach based on two key ideas: (i) A polynomial-sized game model obtained via an approximation of the strategy space, solved efficiently using a linear program; (ii) Two efficient techniques that map solutions from the approximate game to the original, with proofs of correctness under certain assumptions. We present in-depth experimental results, including an evaluation on part of the Mumbai road network.
See also: 2010