Publications by Year: 2012

2012
Zhengyu Yin, Albert Jiang, Matthew Johnson, Milind Tambe, Christopher Kiekintveld, Kevin Leyton-Brown, Tuomas Sandholm, and John Sullivan. 2012. “TRUSTS: Scheduling Randomized Patrols for Fare Inspection in Transit Systems .” In Conference on Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence (IAAI) .Abstract
In proof-of-payment transit systems, passengers are legally required to purchase tickets before entering but are not physically forced to do so. Instead, patrol units move about the transit system, inspecting the tickets of passengers, who face fines if caught fare evading. The deterrence of such fines depends on the unpredictability and effectiveness of the patrols. In this paper, we present TRUSTS, an application for scheduling randomized patrols for fare inspection in transit systems. TRUSTS models the problem of computing patrol strategies as a leader-follower Stackelberg game where the objective is to deter fare evasion and hence maximize revenue. This problem differs from previously studied Stackelberg settings in that the leader strategies must satisfy massive temporal and spatial constraints; moreover, unlike in these counterterrorism-motivated Stackelberg applications, a large fraction of the ridership might realistically consider fare evasion, and so the number of followers is potentially huge. A third key novelty in our work is deliberate simplification of leader strategies to make patrols easier to be executed. We present an efficient algorithm for computing such patrol strategies and present experimental results using realworld ridership data from the Los Angeles Metro Rail system. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s department has begun trials of TRUSTS.
2012_13_teamcore_matchextendedabstract.pdf
Zhengyu Yin, Albert Xin Jiang, Milind Tambe, Christopher Kiekintveld, Kevin Leyton-Brown, Tuomas Sandholm, and John P. Sullivan. 2012. “TRUSTS: Scheduling Randomized Patrols for Fare Inspection in Transit Systems using Game Theory .” AI Magazine, 33 , 4 , Pp. 59-72.Abstract
In proof-of-payment transit systems, passengers are legally required to purchase tickets before entering but are not physically forced to do so. Instead, patrol units move about the transit system, inspecting the tickets of passengers, who face fines if caught fare evading. The deterrence of fare evasion depends on the unpredictability and effectiveness of the patrols. In this paper, we present TRUSTS, an application for scheduling randomized patrols for fare inspection in transit systems. TRUSTS models the problem of computing patrol strategies as a leader-follower Stackelberg game where the objective is to deter fare evasion and hence maximize revenue. This problem differs from previously studied Stackelberg settings in that the leader strategies must satisfy massive temporal and spatial constraints; moreover, unlike in these counterterrorism-motivated Stackelberg applications, a large fraction of the ridership might realistically consider fare evasion, and so the number of followers is potentially huge. A third key novelty in our work is deliberate simplification of leader strategies to make patrols easier to be executed. We present an efficient algorithm for computing such patrol strategies and present experimental results using real-world ridership data from the Los Angeles Metro Rail system. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department is currently carrying out trials of TRUSTS.
2012_45_teamcore_aimag-trusts.pdf
Zhengyu Yin and Milind Tambe. 2012. “A Unified Method for Handling Discrete and Continuous Uncertainty in Bayesian Stackelberg Games .” In International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS).Abstract
Given their existing and potential real-world security applications, Bayesian Stackelberg games have received significant research interest [3, 12, 8]. In these games, the defender acts as a leader, and the many different follower types model the uncertainty over discrete attacker types. Unfortunately since solving such games is an NP-hard problem, scale-up has remained a difficult challenge. This paper scales up Bayesian Stackelberg games, providing a novel unified approach to handling uncertainty not only over discrete follower types but also other key continuously distributed real world uncertainty, due to the leader’s execution error, the follower’s observation error, and continuous payoff uncertainty. To that end, this paper provides contributions in two parts. First, we present a new algorithm for Bayesian Stackelberg games, called HUNTER, to scale up the number of types. HUNTER combines the following five key features: i) efficient pruning via a best-first search of the leader’s strategy space; ii) a novel linear program for computing tight upper bounds for this search; iii) using Bender’s decomposition for solving the upper bound linear program efficiently; iv) efficient inheritance of Bender’s cuts from parent to child; v) an efficient heuristic branching rule. Our experiments show that HUNTER provides orders of magnitude speedups over the best existing methods to handle discrete follower types. In the second part, we show HUNTER’s efficiency for Bayesian Stackelberg games can be exploited to also handle the continuous uncertainty using sample average approximation. We experimentally show that our HUNTER-based approach also outperforms latest robust solution methods under continuously distributed uncertainty.
2012_11_teamcore_hunter-aamas12.pdf
Manish Jain, Kevin Leyton-Brown, and Milind Tambe. 2012. “Which Security Games are Hard to Solve? .” In AAAI Spring Symposium on Game Theory for Security, Sustainability and Health .Abstract
Stackelberg security games form the backbone of systems like ARMOR, IRIS and PROTECT, which are in regular use by the Los Angeles International Police, US Federal Air Marshal Service and the US Coast Guard respectively. An understanding of the runtime required by algorithms that power such systems is critical to furthering the application of game theory to other real-world domains. This paper identifies the concept of the deployment-to-saturation ratio in random Stackelberg security games, and shows that in a decision problem related to these games, the probability that a solution exists exhibits a phase transition as the ratio crosses 0.5. We demonstrate that this phase transition is invariant to changes both in the domain and the domain representation. Moreover, problem instances at this phase transition point are computationally harder than instances with other deployment-tosaturation ratios for a wide range of different equilibrium computation methods, including (i) previously published different MIP algorithms, and (ii) different underlying solvers and solution mechanisms. Our findings have at least two important implications. First, it is important for new algorithms to be evaluated on the hardest problem instances. We show that this has often not been done in the past, and introduce a publicly available benchmark suite to facilitate such comparisons. Second, we provide evidence that this phase transition region is also one where optimization would be of most benefit to security agencies, and thus requires significant attention from researchers in this area.
2012_20_teamcore_aaaiss_manish.pdf
Manish Jain, Bo An, and Milind Tambe. 2012. “An Overview of Recent Application Trends at the AAMAS conference: Security, Sustainability and Safety.” AI Magazine, 33, 3, Pp. 14-28.Abstract
A key feature of the AAMAS conference is its emphasis on ties to real-world applications. The focus of this article is to provide a broad overview of application-focused papers published at the AAMAS 2010 and 2011 conferences. More specifically, recent applications at AAMAS could be broadly categorized as belonging to research areas of security, sustainability and safety. We outline the domains of applications, key research thrusts underlying each such application area, and emerging trends.
2012_1_teamcore_aimag2012.pdf
Jason Tsai, Thanh H. Nguyen, and Milind Tambe. 2012. “Security Games for Controlling Contagion.” In Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).Abstract
Many strategic actions carry a ‘contagious’ component beyond the immediate locale of the effort itself. Viral marketing and peacekeeping operations have both been observed to have a spreading effect. In this work, we use counterinsurgency as our illustrative domain. Defined as the effort to block the spread of support for an insurgency, such operations lack the manpower to defend the entire population and must focus on the opinions of a subset of local leaders. As past researchers of security resource allocation have done, we propose using game theory to develop such policies and model the interconnected network of leaders as a graph. Unlike this past work in security games, actions in these domains possess a probabilistic, non-local impact. To address this new class of security games, we combine recent research in influence blocking maximization with a double oracle approach and create novel heuristic oracles to generate mixed strategies for a real-world leadership network from Afghanistan, synthetic leadership networks, and a real social network. We find that leadership networks that exhibit highly interconnected clusters can be solved equally well by our heuristic methods, but our more sophisticated heuristics outperform simpler ones in less interconnected social networks.
2012_27_teamcore_aaai2012_-_camerareadyv6.pdf

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