Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 31-71

First online:

An extended study on multi-objective security games

  • Matthew BrownAffiliated withUniversity of Southern California Email author 
  • , Bo AnAffiliated withUniversity of Southern CaliforniaChinese Academy of Sciences
  • , Christopher KiekintveldAffiliated withUniversity of Texas at El Paso
  • , Fernando OrdóñezAffiliated withUniversidad de Chile
  • , Milind TambeAffiliated withUniversity of Southern California

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The burgeoning area of security games has focused on real-world domains where security agencies protect critical infrastructure from a diverse set of adaptive adversaries. In such domains, decision makers have multiple competing objectives they must consider which may take different forms that are not readily comparable including safety, cost, and public perception. Thus, it can be difficult to know how to weigh the different objectives when deciding on a security strategy. To address the challenges of these domains, we propose a fundamentally different solution concept, multi-objective security games (MOSGs). Instead of a single optimal solution, MOSGs have a set of Pareto optimal (non-dominated) solutions referred to as the Pareto frontier, which can be generated by solving a sequence of constrained single-objective optimization problems (CSOPs). The Pareto frontier allows the decision maker to analyze the tradeoffs that exist between the multiple objectives. Our contributions include: (i) an algorithm, Iterative-ε-Constraints,, for generating the sequence of CSOPs; (ii) an exact approach for solving an mixed-integer linear program (MILP) formulation of a CSOP; (iii) heuristics that achieve speed up by exploiting the structure of security games to further constrain the MILP; (iv) an approximate approach for solving a CSOP built off those same heuristics, increasing the scalability of our approach with quality guarantees. Additional contributions of this paper include proofs on the level of approximation, detailed experimental evaluation of the proposed approaches and heuristics, as well as a discussion on techniques for visualizing the Pareto frontier.


Game theory Security Multi-objective optimization