Security is a critical concern around the world, whether it is the challenge of protecting ports, airports and other critical national infrastructure, or protecting wildlife/forests and fisheries, or suppressing crime in urban areas. In many of these cases, limited security resources prevent full security coverage at all times. Instead, these limited resources must be allocated and scheduled efficiently, avoiding predictability, while simultaneously taking into account an adversary’s response to the security coverage, the adversary’s preferences and potential uncertainty over such preferences and capabilities.
Computational game theory can help us build decision-aids for such efficient security resource allocation. Indeed, casting the security allocation problem as a Bayesian Stackelberg game, we have developed new algorithms that are deployed over multiple years in multiple applications:
- PROTECT for the US Coast Guard
- TRUSTS for the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department
- IRIS for the Federal Air Marshal’s Service
- ARMOR for Los Angeles Airport Police
- GUARDS for the Transportation Security Administration
- DARMS for the Transportation Security Administration
Fundamentally, we are focused on the research challenges in these efforts, marrying these applications with research on topics such as (i) fast algorithms for solving massive-scale games; (ii) behavioral game theory research for addressing human adversaries who may act with bounded rationality and imperfect observations; (iii) understanding the impact of players’ limited observations on solution approaches adopted. We list the main research papers below and also some of our project application areas.
Current team working on Game Theory and Security Projects:
|Eric Shieh, Fei Fang, Thanh Nguyen, Franesco Delle Fave, Matthew Brown, Chao Zhang, Yundi Qian, Debarun Kar, Benjamin Ford, Haifeng Xu, Sara Mc Carthy, Aaron Schlenker, Yasaman Dehghani Abbasi, Sherhzad Gholami|
|Rajiv Maheswaran, Andrew Deeds, Rong Yang, Albert Jiang, Manish Jain, Zhengyu Yin, James Pita, Praveen Paruchuri, Janusz Marecki,|
|Christopher Portway, Shyamsunder Rathi, Harish Kumar Bellamane, Bo An, Parth Shah Bharat Patel, Craig Western, Chris Kiekintveld,|
Other Collaborators at USC and Elsewhere:
|Fernando Ordonez (USC), Vincent Conitzer (Duke), Richard John (USC), Sarit Kraus (Bar Ilan), Michal Pechoucek (CTU),|
Dima Korzhyk (Duke), Ondra Vanek (CTU), Kevin Leyton-Brown (UBC) and Tuomas Sandholm (CMU)
These projects are funded by the USC Homeland Security Center (CREATE).
Gratefully acknowledge the support of:
The objective of DARMS is to unify, quantify, and integrate information across the aviation sector in order to comprehensively assess risk on an individual, on a per flight basis. DARMS will integrate information on passengers, checked baggage and cargo, aircraft operators and airports and airport perimeters.
Inspired by modern criminological theory, we introduce the Opportunistic Security Game (OSG), a new computational framework for generating defender strategies to mitigate opportunistic criminals. Furthermore, we applying machine learning to learn a model of criminal behavior.
Information – i.e., who knows what knowledge regarding a game – has a profound influence on the equilibrium outcome of the game. From the informational perspective, defense is all about shaping the attacker’s belief regarding the protection of targets, and randomly allocating physical resources is just one way to achieve this. The attacker’s belief is also largely affected by the information available to him, such as payoff structures, effectiveness of physical resources, vulnerability of targets, defense deployments, etc. Crucially, the defender usually has more knowledge regarding these aspects than the attacker. The central question we aim to answer in this project is, can the defender make use of such knowledge to increase the defensive effects, and if so, how she can do it optimally?
- TRUSTS: Tactical Randomization for Urban Security in Transit Systems
PROTECT: Port Resilience Operational / Tactical Enforcement to Combat Terrorism (In use by the US Coast Guard since 2011)
- ARMOR-LAX: Deployed game theory for security at the Los Angeles International Airport (in use at LAX since 2007)
- ARMOR-GUARDS: Game-theoretic Unpredictable and Randomly Deployed Security for intelligent randomization of TSA security activities
Recent news about Game Theory for Security
- SoCaltech, February 27, 2015: ArmorWay: Applying Computer Game Theory To Real Life Problems
- MIRI: Machine Intelligence in Research Institute, May 30, 2014: Milind Tambe on game theory in security applications
- Airport Technology Article, July 26, 2012: Game theory: Introducing randomness to airport security
- DefenseMediaNetwork Article, July 10, 2012: The Port Resiliency for Operational/Tactical Enforcement to Combat Terrorism Model
- Security Products Article, April 25, 2011: Port of Boston Not Playing Games with Its Security
- Viterbi News Article, April 12, 2011: USC Engineering Anti-Terrorism System Begins Tests in Boston Harbor
- Los Angeles Times News Article, November 18, 2010: Villaraigosa names panel to review security at LAX
- Daily Breeze News Article, November 18, 2010: Villaraigosa appoints panel to study LAX security
- Richmond Times-Dispatch News Article, September 11, 2010: Poker research spurs good deal for airport security
- Pittsburgh post-gazette.com Article, August 2, 2010: Research on poker a good deal for airport security
- CNN News Article, July 14, 2010: Airport Statement on ARMOR at CNN
- Viterbi News Article, May 2010: TSA Testing GUARDS Airport Security System at LAX and PIT
- Viterbi News Article, Apr 2010: Milind Tambe – Fernando Ordoñez Research Team Finalists in O.R. Competition