AAAI Publications, Twenty-Ninth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Computing Nash Equilibrium in Interdependent Defense Games
Hau Chan, Luis Ortiz

Last modified: 2015-02-16


Roughly speaking, Interdependent Defense (IDD) games, previously proposed, model the situation where an attacker wants to cause as much damage as possible to a network by attacking one of the sites in the network. Each site must make an investment decision regarding security to protect itself against a direct or indirect attack, the latter due to potential transfer-risk from an unprotected neighboring site. The work introducing IDD games discusses potential applications to model the essence of real-world scenarios such as the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot. In this paper, our focus is the study of the problem of computing a Nash Equilibrium (NE) in IDD games. We show that an efficient algorithm to determine whether some attacker’s strategy can be a part of a NE in an instance of IDD games is unlikely to exist. Yet, we provide a dynamic programming algorithm to compute an approximate NE when the graph/network structure of the game is a directed tree with a single source, and show that it is an FPTAS. We also introduce an improved heuristic to compute an approximate NE on arbitrary graph structures. Our experiments show that our heuristic is more efficient, and provides better approximations, than best-response-gradient dynamics for the case of Internet games, a class of games introduced and studied in the original work on IDD games.

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