Jun-young Kwak, Rong Yang, Zhengyu Yin, Matthew E. Taylor, and Milind Tambe. 2011. “Teamwork in Distributed POMDPs: Execution-time Coordination Under Model Uncertainty .” In International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (Extended Abstract) .Abstract
Despite their NEXP-complete policy generation complexity [1], Distributed Partially Observable Markov Decision Problems (DEC-POMDPs) have become a popular paradigm for multiagent teamwork [2, 6, 8]. DEC-POMDPs are able to quantitatively express observational and action uncertainty, and yet optimally plan communications and domain actions. This paper focuses on teamwork under model uncertainty (i.e., potentially inaccurate transition and observation functions) in DEC-POMDPs. In many domains, we only have an approximate model of agent observation or transition functions. To address this challenge we rely on execution-centric frameworks [7, 11, 12], which simplify planning in DEC-POMDPs (e.g., by assuming costfree communication at plan-time), and shift coordination reasoning to execution time. Specifically, during planning, these frameworks have a standard single-agent POMDP planner [4] to plan a policy for the team of agents by assuming zero-cost communication. Then, at execution-time, agents model other agents’ beliefs and actions, reason about when to communicate with teammates, reason about what action to take if not communicating, etc. Unfortunately, past work in execution-centric approaches [7, 11, 12] also assumes a correct world model, and the presence of model uncertainty exposes key weaknesses that result in erroneous plans and additional inefficiency due to reasoning over incorrect world models at every decision epoch. This paper provides two sets of contributions. The first is a new execution-centric framework for DEC-POMDPs called MODERN (MOdel uncertainty in Dec-pomdp Execution-time ReasoNing). MODERN is the first execution-centric framework for DECPOMDPs explicitly motivated by model uncertainty. It is based on three key ideas: (i) it maintains an exponentially smaller model of other agents’ beliefs and actions than in previous work and then further reduces the computation-time and space expense of this model via bounded pruning; (ii) it reduces execution-time computation by exploiting BDI theories of teamwork, thus limiting communication to key trigger points; and (iii) it simplifies its decision-theoretic reasoning about communication over the pruned model and uses a systematic markup, encouraging extra communication and reducing uncertainty among team members at trigger points. This paper’s second set of contributions are in opening up model uncertainty as a new research direction for DEC-POMDPs and emphasizing the similarity of this problem to the Belief-DesireIntention (BDI) model for teamwork [5, 9]. In particular, BDI teamwork models also assume inaccurate mapping between realworld problems and domain models. As a result, they emphasize robustness via execution-time reasoning about coordination [9]. Given some of the successes of prior BDI research in teamwork, we leverage insights from BDI in designing MODERN.
James Pita, Rong Yang, Milind Tambe, and Richard John. 2011. “Toward Addressing Human Behavior with Observational Uncertainty in Security Games .” In AAAI'11 Workshop on Applied Adversarial Reasoning and Risk Modeling (AARM) .Abstract
Stackelberg games have recently gained significant attention for resource allocation decisions in security settings. One critical assumption of traditional Stackelberg models is that all players are perfectly rational and that the followers perfectly observe the leader’s strategy. However, in real-world security settings, security agencies must deal with human adversaries who may not always follow the utility maximizing rational strategy. Accounting for these likely deviations is important since they may adversely affect the leader’s (security agency’s) utility. In fact, a number of behavioral gametheoretic models have begun to emerge for these domains. Two such models in particular are COBRA (Combined Observability and Bounded Rationality Assumption) and BRQR (Best Response to Quantal Response), which have both been shown to outperform game-theoretic optimal models against human adversaries within a security setting based on Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Under perfect observation conditions, BRQR has been shown to be the leading contender for addressing human adversaries. In this work we explore these models under limited observation conditions. Due to human anchoring biases, BRQR’s performance may suffer under limited observation conditions. An anchoring bias is when, given no information about the occurrence of a discrete set of events, humans will tend to assign an equal weight to the occurrence of each event (a uniform distribution). This study makes three main contributions: (i) we incorporate an anchoring bias into BRQR to improve performance under limited observation; (ii) we explore finding appropriate parameter settings for BRQR under limited observation; (iii) we compare BRQR’s performance versus COBRA under limited observation conditions.
Jun-young Kwak, Milind Tambe, Paul Scerri, Amos Freedy, and Onur Sert. 2011. “Towards a Robust MultiAgent Autonomous Reasoning System (MAARS): An Initial Simulation Study for Satellite Defense .” In AIAA Infotech at Aerospace.Abstract
Multi-agent autonomous reasoning systems have emerged as a promising planning technique for addressing satellite defense problems. The main challenge is to extend and scale up the capabilities of current and emerging reasoning and planning methods to handle the characteristics of the satellite defense problem. This paper focuses on some key critical research issues that need to be addressed in order to perform automated planning and execution fitted to the specific nature of response to ASAT attacks, and provides MAARS, a new autonomous reasoning framework for satellite defense. As the core of MAARS, we present MODERN, a new execution-centric method for DEC-POMDPs explicitly motivated by model uncertainty. There are two key innovative features in MODERN: (i) it maintains an exponentially smaller model of other agents’ beliefs and actions than in previous work and then further reduces the computation-time and space expense of this model via bounded pruning; and (ii) it reduces execution-time computation by exploiting BDI theories of teamwork, and limits communication reasoning to key trigger points. We demonstrate a proof of concept of MAARS in the simplified ASAT mitigation scenario. We then show initial evaluation results of MAARS in ASAT domains that are critical in advancing the state-of-the-art in providing autonomous reasoning to delve into unperceived models as well as deal with exponential explosion of the computational complexity of current algorithms.
Jun-young Kwak, Rong Yang, Zhengyu Yin, Matthew E. Taylor, and Milind Tambe. 2011. “Towards Addressing Model Uncertainty: Robust Execution-time Coordination for Teamwork (Short Paper) .” In International Conference on Intelligent Agent Technology (short paper).Abstract
Despite their worst-case NEXP-complete planning complexity, DEC-POMDPs remain a popular framework for multiagent teamwork. This paper introduces effective teamwork under model uncertainty (i.e., potentially inaccurate transition and observation functions) as a novel challenge for DEC-POMDPs and presents MODERN, the first executioncentric framework for DEC-POMDPs explicitly motivated by addressing such model uncertainty. MODERN’s shift of coordination reasoning from planning-time to execution-time avoids the high cost of computing optimal plans whose promised quality may not be realized in practice. There are three key ideas in MODERN: (i) it maintains an exponentially smaller model of other agents’ beliefs and actions than in previous work and then further reduces the computationtime and space expense of this model via bounded pruning; (ii) it reduces execution-time computation by exploiting BDI theories of teamwork, and limits communication to key trigger points; and (iii) it limits its decision-theoretic reasoning about communication to trigger points and uses a systematic markup to encourage extra communication at these points — thus reducing uncertainty among team members at trigger points. We empirically show that MODERN is substantially faster than existing DEC-POMDP execution-centric methods while achieving significantly higher reward.
Bostjan Kaluza, Gal Kaminka, and Milind Tambe. 2011. “Towards Detection of Suspicious Behavior from Multiple Observations .” In PAIR 2011: AAAI Workshop on Plan, Activity, and Intent Recognition.Abstract
This paper addresses the problem of detecting suspicious behavior from a collection of individuals events, where no single event is enough to decide whether his/her behavior is suspicious, but the combination of multiple events enables reasoning. We establish a Bayesian framework for evaluating multiple events and show that the current approaches lack modeling behavior history included in the estimation whether a trace of events is generated by a suspicious agent. We propose a heuristic for evaluating events according to the behavior of the agent in the past. The proposed approach, tested on an airport domain, outperforms the current approaches.
Jun-young Kwak, Pradeep Varakantham, Milind Tambe, Laura Klein, Farrokh Jazizadeh, Geoffrey Kavulya, Burcin B. Gerber, and David J. Gerber. 2011. “Towards Optimal Planning for Distributed Coordination Under Uncertainty in Energy Domains .” In Workshop on Agent Technologies for Energy Systems (ATES) at AAMAS 2011.Abstract
Recent years have seen a rise of interest in the deployment of multiagent systems in energy domains that inherently have uncertain and dynamic environments with limited resources. In such domains, the key challenge is to minimize the energy consumption while satisfying the comfort level of occupants in the buildings under uncertainty (regarding agent negotiation actions). As human agents begin to interact with complex building systems as a collaborative team, it becomes crucial that the resulting multiagent teams reason about coordination under such uncertainty to optimize multiple metrics, which have not been systematically considered in previous literature. This paper presents a novel multiagent system based on distributed coordination reasoning under uncertainty for sustainability called SAVES. There are three key ideas in SAVES: (i) it explicitly considers uncertainty while reasoning about coordination in a distributed manner relying on MDPs; (ii) human behaviors and their occupancy preferences are incorporated into planning and modeled as part of the system; and (iii) the influence of various control strategies for multiagent teams is evaluated on an existing university building as the practical research testbed with actual energy consumption data. We empirically show the preliminary results that our intelligent control strategies substantially reduce the overall energy consumption in the actual simulation testbed compared to the existing control means while achieving comparable average satisfaction level of occupants.
Laura Klein, Geoffrey Kavulya, Farrokh Jazizadeh, Jun-young Kwak, Burcin Becerik-Gerber, Pradeep Varakantham, and Milind Tambe. 2011. “Towards Optimization Of Building Energy And Occupant Comfort Using Multi-Agent Simulation.” In International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction.Abstract
The primary consumers of building energy are heating, cooling, ventilation, and lighting systems, which maintain occupant comfort, and electronics and appliances that enable occupant functionality. The optimization of building energy is therefore a complex problem highly dependent on unique building and environmental conditions as well as on time dependent operational factors. To provide computational support for this optimization, this paper presents and implements a multi-agent comfort and energy simulation (MACES) to model alternative management and control of building systems and occupants. Human and device agents are used to explore current trends in energy consumption and management of a university test bed building. Reactive and predictive control strategies are then imposed on device agents in an attempt to reduce building energy consumption while maintaining occupant comfort. Finally, occupant agents are motivated by simulation feedback to accept more energy conscious scheduling through multi-agent negotiations. Initial results of the MACES demonstrate potential energy savings of 17% while maintaining a high level of occupant comfort. This work is intended to demonstrate a simulation tool, which is implementable in the actual test bed site and compatible with real-world input to instigate and motivate more energy conscious control and occupant behaviors.
Matthew E. Taylor, Manish Jain, Christopher Kiekintveld, Jun-young Kwak, Rong Yang, Zhengyu Yin, and Milind Tambe. 2011. “Two Decades of Multiagent Teamwork Research: Past, Present, and Future .” In Collaborative Agents REsearch and Development (CARE) 2010 workshop.Abstract
This paper discusses some of the recent cooperative multiagent systems work in the TEAMCORE lab at the University of Southern California. Based in part on an invited talk at the CARE 2010 workshop, we highlight how and why execution-time reasoning has been supplementing, or replacing, planning-time reasoning in such systems.
Bo An, James Pita, Eric Shieh, Milind Tambe, Christopher Kiekintveld, and Janusz Marecki. 2011. “GUARDS and PROTECT: Next Generation Applications of Security Games.” In ACM SIGecom Exchanges , 1st ed. Vol. 10.Abstract
The last five years have witnessed the successful application of game theory in reasoning about complex security problems [Basilico et al. 2009; Korzhyk et al. 2010; Dickerson et al. 2010; Jakob et al. 2010; Paruchuri et al. 2008; Pita et al. 2009; Pita et al. 2010; Kiekintveld et al. 2009; Jain et al. 2010]. Stackelberg games have been widely used to model patrolling or monitoring problems in security. In a Stackelberg security game, the defender commits to a strategy and the adversary makes its decision with knowledge of the leader’s commitment. Two systems applying Stackelberg game models to assist with randomized resource allocation decisions are currently in use by the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) [Pita et al. 2008] and the Federal Air Marshals Service (FAMS) [Tsai et al. 2009]. Two new applications called GUARDS (Game-theoretic Unpredictable and Randomly Deployed Security) [Pita et al. 2011] and PROTECT (Port Resilience Operational / Tactical Enforcement to Combat Terrorism) are under development for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the United States Coast Guard respectively. Both are based on Stackelberg games. In contrast with previous applications at LAX and FAMS, which focused on one-off tailored applications and one security activity (e.g., canine patrol, checkpoints, or covering flights) per application, both GUARDS and PROTECT face new challenging issues due to the potential large scale deployment. This includes reasoning about hundreds of heterogeneous security activities, reasoning over diverse potential threats, and developing a system designed for hundreds of end-users. In this article we will highlight several of the main issues that have arisen. We begin with an overview of the new applications and then discuss these issues in turn.
Bostjan Kaluza, Erik Dovgan, Tea Tusar, Milind Tambe, and Matjaz Gams. 2011. “A Probabilistic Risk Analysis for Multimodal Entry Control.” Expert systems with Applications,, 28, Pp. 6696-6704.Abstract
Entry control is an important security measure that prevents undesired persons from entering secure areas. The advanced risk analysis presented in this paper makes it possible to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable entries, based on several entry sensors, such as fingerprint readers, and intelligent methods that learn behavior from previous entries. We have extended the intelligent layer in two ways: first, by adding a meta-learning layer that combines the output of specific intelligent modules, and second, by constructing a Bayesian network to integrate the predictions of the learning and meta-learning modules. The obtained results represent an important improvement in detecting security attacks.
Christopher Kiekintveld, Zhengyu Yin, Atul Kumar, and Milind Tambe. 2010. “Asynchronous Algorithms for Approximate Distributed Constraint Optimization with Quality Bounds .” In International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS).Abstract
Distributed Constraint Optimization (DCOP) is a popular framework for cooperative multi-agent decision making. DCOP is NPhard, so an important line of work focuses on developing fast incomplete solution algorithms for large-scale applications. One of the few incomplete algorithms to provide bounds on solution quality is k-size optimality, which defines a local optimality criterion based on the size of the group of deviating agents. Unfortunately, the lack of a general-purpose algorithm and the commitment to forming groups based solely on group size has limited the use of k-size optimality. This paper introduces t-distance optimality which departs from k-size optimality by using graph distance as an alternative criteria for selecting groups of deviating agents. This throws open a new research direction into the tradeoffs between different group selection and coordination mechanisms for incomplete DCOP algorithms. We derive theoretical quality bounds for t-distance optimality that improve known bounds for k-size optimality. In addition, we develop a new efficient asynchronous local search algorithm for finding both k-size and t-distance optimal solutions — allowing these concepts to be deployed in real applications. Indeed, empirical results show that this algorithm significantly outperforms the only existing algorithm for finding general k-size optimal solutions, which is also synchronous. Finally, we compare the algorithmic performance of k-size and t-distance optimality using this algorithm. We find that t-distance consistently converges to higher-quality solutions in the long run, but results are mixed on convergence speed; we identify cases where k-size and t-distance converge faster.
Emma Bowring, Milind Tambe, and Makoto Yokoo. 2010. “Balancing Local Resources and Global Goals in Multiply-Constrained DCOP .” Journal of Multiagent and Grid Systems (MAGS), 6, 4, Pp. 353-393.Abstract
Distributed constraint optimization (DCOP) is a useful framework for cooperative multiagent coordination. DCOP focuses on optimizing a single team objective. However, in many domains, agents must satisfy constraints on resources consumed locally while optimizing the team goal. Yet, these resource constraints may need to be kept private. Designing DCOP algorithms for these domains requires managing complex trade-offs in completeness, scalability, privacy and efficiency. This article defines the multiply-constrained DCOP (MC-DCOP) framework and provides complete (globally optimal) and incomplete (locally optimal) algorithms for solving MC-DCOP problems. Complete algorithms find the best allocation of scarce resources while optimizing the team objective, while incomplete algorithms are more scalable. The algorithms use four main techniques: (i) transforming constraints to maintain privacy; (ii) dynamically setting upper bounds on resource consumption; (iii) identifying the extent to which the local graph structure allows agents to compute exact bounds; and (iv) using a virtual assignment to flag problems rendered unsatisfiable by resource constraints. Proofs of correctness are presented for all algorithms. Experimental results illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of both the complete and incomplete algorithms.
Matthew E. Taylor, Christopher Kiekintveld, Craig Western, and Milind Tambe. 2010. “A Framework for Evaluating Deployed Security Systems: Is There a Chink in your ARMOR? .” Informatica, 34, Pp. 129-139.Abstract
A growing number of security applications are being developed and deployed to explicitly reduce risk from adversaries’ actions. However, there are many challenges when attempting to evaluate such systems, both in the lab and in the real world. Traditional evaluations used by computer scientists, such as runtime analysis and optimality proofs, may be largely irrelevant. The primary contribution of this paper is to provide a preliminary framework which can guide the evaluation of such systems and to apply the framework to the evaluation of ARMOR (a system deployed at LAX since August 2007). This framework helps to determine what evaluations could, and should, be run in order to measure a system’s overall utility. A secondary contribution of this paper is to help familiarize our community with some of the difficulties inherent in evaluating deployed applications, focusing on those in security domains.
Jason Tsai, Zhengyu Yin, Jun-young Kwak, David Kempe, Christopher Kiekintveld, and Milind Tambe. 2010. “Game-Theoretic Allocation of Security Forces in a City .” In AAMAS 2010 workshop on Optimization in Multiagent Systems.Abstract
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.
Jason Tsai, Zhengyu Yin, Jun-young Kwak, David Kempe, Christopher Kiekintveld, and Milind Tambe. 2010. “How to Protect a City: Strategic Security Placement in Graph-Based Domains .” In Extended Abstract for International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS).Abstract
Protecting targets against potential attacks is an important problem for security forces worldwide. The general setting we study is as follows: An attacker assigns different values to reaching (and damaging or destroying) one of multiple targets. A defender is able to allocate resources (such as patrol cars or canine units) to capture the attacker before he reaches a target. In many of these situations, the domain has structure that is naturally modeled as a graph. For example, city maps can be modeled with intersections as nodes and roads as edges, where nodes are targets for attackers. In order to prevent attacks, security forces can schedule checkpoints on edges (e.g., roads) to detect intruders. For instance, in response to the devastating terrorist attacks in 2008 [1], Mumbai police deploy randomized checkpoints as one countermeasure to prevent future attacks [2]. The strategy for placing these checkpoints must necessarily be decided in advance of attack attempts, should account for targets of differing importance, and should anticipate an intelligent adversary who can observe the strategy prior to attacking. In light of these requirements, game-theoretic approaches have been developed to assist in generating randomized security strategies in several real-world domains, including applications in use by the Los Angeles International Airport [12] and the Federal Air Marshals Service [13]. To account for the attacker’s ability to observe deployment patterns, these methods model the problem as a Stackelberg game and solve for an optimal probability distribution over the possible deployments to ensure unpredictability. Novel solvers for classes of security games have recently been developed [3, 11, 4]. However, these solvers take time at least polynomial in the number of actions of both players. In our setting, every path from an entry point to a target is an attacker action, and every set of r or fewer edges is a defender action. (r is the maximum number of checkpoints.) Since the attacker’s actions grow exponentially with the size of the network, and the defender’s actions grow exponentially with r, existing methods quickly become too slow when applied to large real-world domains. Therefore, our goal is to develop faster methods for these settings and evaluate them theoretically and empirically.
Makoto Tasaki, Yuichi Yabu, Yuki Iwanari, Makoto Yokoo, Janusz Marecki, Pradeep Varakantham, and Milind Tambed. 2010. “Introducing Communication in Dis-POMDPs with Locality of Interaction .” Journal of Web Intelligence and Agent Systems (WIAS), 8, 3, Pp. 303-311.Abstract
The Networked Distributed POMDPs (ND-POMDPs) can model multiagent systems in uncertain domains and has begun to scale-up the number of agents. However, prior work in ND-POMDPs has failed to address communication. Without communication, the size of a local policy at each agent within the ND-POMDPs grows exponentially in the time horizon. To overcome this problem, we extend existing algorithms so that agents periodically communicate their observation and action histories with each other. After communication, agents can start from new synchronized belief state. Thus, we can avoid the exponential growth in the size of local policies at agents. Furthermore, we introduce an idea that is similar to the Point-based Value Iteration algorithm to approximate the value function with a fixed number of representative points. Our experimental results show that we can obtain much longer policies than existing algorithms as long as the interval between communications is small.
Emma Bowring and Milind Tambe. 2010. “Introducing Multiagent Systems to Undergraduates Through Games and Chocolate .” In Book Chapter in 'Multi-Agent Systems for Education and Interactive Entertainment:Design, Use and Experience'.Abstract
The field of ―intelligent agents and multiagent systems‖ is maturing; no longer is it a special topic to be introduced to graduate students after years of training in computer science and many introductory courses in artificial intelligence. Instead, the time is ripe to introduce agents and multiagents directly to undergraduate students, whether majoring in computer science or not. This chapter focuses on exactly this challenge, drawing on the co-authors‘ experience of teaching several such undergraduate courses on agents and multiagents, over the last three years at two different universities. The chapter outlines three key issues that must be addressed. The first issue is facilitating students‘ intuitive understanding of fundamental concepts of multiagent systems; we illustrate uses of science fiction materials and classroom games to not only provide students with the necessary intuitive understanding but with the excitement and motivation for studying multiagent systems. The second is in selecting the right material — either science-fiction material or games — for providing students the necessary motivation and intuition; we outline several criteria that have been useful in selecting such material. The third issue is in educating students about the fundamental philosophical, ethical and social issues surrounding agents and multiagent systems: we outline course materials and classroom activities that allow students to obtain this ―big picture‖ futuristic vision of our science. We conclude with feedback received, lessons learned and impact on both the computer science students and non computer-science students.
Christopher Kiekintveld, Janusz Marecki, and Milind Tambe. 2010. “Methods and Algorithms for Infinite Bayesian Stackelberg Security Games (Extended Abstract) .” In Conference on Decision and Game Theory for Security.Abstract
Recently there has been significant interest in applications of gametheoretic analysis to analyze security resource allocation decisions. Two examples of deployed systems based on this line of research are the ARMOR system in use at the Los Angeles International Airport [20], and the IRIS system used by the Federal Air Marshals Service [25]. Game analysis always begins by developing a model of the domain, often based on inputs from domain experts or historical data. These models inevitably contain significant uncertainty—especially in security domains where intelligence about adversary capabilities and preferences is very difficult to gather. In this work we focus on developing new models and algorithms that capture this uncertainty using continuous payoff distributions. These models are richer and more powerful than previous approaches that are limited to small finite Bayesian game models. We present the first algorithms for approximating equilibrium solutions in these games, and study these algorithms empirically. Our results show dramatic improvements over existing techniques, even in cases where there is very limited uncertainty about an adversaries’ payoffs.
Manish Jain, Erim Kardes, Christopher Kiekintveld, Fernando Ordonez, and Milind Tambe. 2010. “Optimal defender allocation for massive security games: A branch and price approach .” In AAMAS 2010 Workshop on Optimisation in Multi-Agent Systems (OptMas).Abstract
Algorithms to solve security games, an important class of Stackelberg games, have seen successful real-world deployment by LAX police and the Federal Air Marshal Service. These algorithms provide randomized schedules to optimally allocate limited security resources for infrastructure protection. Unfortunately, these stateof-the-art algorithms fail to scale-up or to provide a correct solution for massive security games with arbitrary scheduling constraints. This paper provides ASPEN, a branch-and-price algorithm to overcome this limitation based on two key contributions: (i) A column-generation approach that exploits an innovative compact network flow representation, avoiding a combinatorial explosion of schedule allocations; (ii) A branch-and-bound approach with novel upper-bound generation via a fast algorithm for solving under-constrained security games. ASPEN is the first known method for efficiently solving real-world-sized security games with arbitrary schedules. This work contributes to a very new area of work that applies techniques used in large-scale optimization to game-theoretic problems—an exciting new avenue with the potential to greatly expand the reach of game theory.
James Pita, Christopher Kiekintveld, Michael Scott, and Milind Tambe. 2010. “Randomizing Security Activities with Attacker Circumvention Strategies .” In AAMAS 2010 Workshop on Optimisation in Multi-Agent Systems (OptMas).Abstract
Game theoretic methods for making resource allocation decision in security domains have attracted growing attention from both researchers and security practitioners, including deployed applications at both the LAX airport and the Federal Air Marshals Service. We develop a new class of security games designed to model decisions faced by the Transportation Security Administration and other agencies in protecting airports, ports, and other critical infrastructure. Our model allows for a more diverse set of security activities for the defensive resources than previous work, which has generally focused on interchangeable resources that can only defend against possible attacks in one way. Here, we are concerned in particular with the possibility that adversaries can circumvent specific security activities if they are aware of common security measures. The model we propose takes this capability into account and generates more unpredictable, diverse security policies as a result—without resorting to an external value for entropy or randomness. Solving these games is a significant computational challenge, and existing algorithms are not capable of solving realistic games. We introduce a new method that exploits common structure in these problems to reduce the size of the game representation and enable faster solution algorithm. These algorithms are able to scale to make larger games than existing solvers, as we show in our experimental results.