Tackling Sequential Attacks in Security Games

Thanh H. Nguyen, Amulya Yadav, Branislav Bosansky, Yu Liang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


Many real-world security problems exhibit the challenge of sequential attacks (i.e., the attacker carries out multiple attacks in a sequential manner) on important targets. Security agencies have to dynamically allocate limited security resources to the targets in response to these attacks, upon receiving real-time observations regarding them. This paper focuses on tackling sequential attacks using Stackelberg security games (SSGs), a well-known class of leader-follower games, which have been applied for solving many real-world security problems. Previous work on SSGs mainly considers a myopic attacker who attacks one or multiple targets simultaneously against each defense strategy. This paper introduces a new sequential-attack game model (built upon the Stackelberg game model), which incorporates real-time observations, the behavior of sequential attacks, and strategic plans of non-myopic players. Based on the new game model, we propose practical game-theoretic algorithms for computing an equilibrium in different game settings. Our new algorithms exploit intrinsic properties of the equilibrium to derive compact representations of both game state history and strategy spaces of players (which are exponential in number in the original representations). Finally, our computational experiments quantify benefits and losses to the attacker and defender in the presence of sequential attacks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDecision and Game Theory for Security - 10th International Conference, GameSec 2019, Proceedings
EditorsTansu Alpcan, Yevgeniy Vorobeychik, John S. Baras, György Dán
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9783030324292
StatePublished - 2019
Event10th International Conference on Decision and Game Theory for Security, GameSec 2019 - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: Oct 30 2019Nov 1 2019

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11836 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference10th International Conference on Decision and Game Theory for Security, GameSec 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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