Infrastructure security games

Melike Baykal-Gürsoy, Zhe Duan, H. Vincent Poor, Andrey Garnaev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Infrastructure security against possible attacks involves making decisions under uncertainty. This paper presents game theoretic models of the interaction between an adversary and a first responder in order to study the problem of security within a transportation infrastructure. The risk measure used is based on the consequence of an attack in terms of the number of people affected or the occupancy level of a critical infrastructure, e.g. stations, trains, subway cars, escalators, bridges, etc. The objective of the adversary is to inflict the maximum damage to a transportation network by selecting a set of nodes to attack, while the first responder (emergency management center) allocates resources (emergency personnel or personnel-hours) to the sites of interest in an attempt to find the hidden adversary. This paper considers both static and dynamic, in which the first responder is mobile, games. The unique equilibrium strategy pair is given in closed form for the simple static game. For the dynamic game, the equilibrium for the first responder becomes the best patrol policy within the infrastructure. This model uses partially observable Markov decision processes (POMDPs) in which the payoff functions depend on an exogenous people flow, and thus, are time varying. A numerical example illustrating the algorithm is presented to evaluate an equilibrium strategy pair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-478
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


  • Bayesian game
  • Game theory
  • Matrix game
  • Moving targets
  • Uncertainty modeling


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