Defending Against Opportunistic Criminals: New Game-Theoretic Frameworks and Algorithms

  • Chao Zhang
  • Albert Xin Jiang
  • Martin B. Short
  • P. Jeffrey Brantingham
  • Milind Tambe
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8840)


This paper introduces a new game-theoretic framework and algorithms for addressing opportunistic crime. The Stackelberg Security Game (SSG), which models highly strategic and resourceful adversaries, has become an important computational framework within multiagent systems. Unfortunately, SSG is ill-suited as a framework for handling opportunistic crimes, which are committed by criminals who are less strategic in planning attacks and more flexible in executing them than SSG assumes. Yet, opportunistic crime is what is commonly seen in most urban settings.We therefore introduce the Opportunistic Security Game (OSG), a computational framework to recommend deployment strategies for defenders to control opportunistic crimes. Our first contribution in OSG is a novel model for opportunistic adversaries, who (i) opportunistically and repeatedly seek targets; (ii) react to real-time information at execution time rather than planning attacks in advance; and (iii) have limited observation of defender strategies. Our second contribution to OSG is a new exact algorithm EOSG to optimize defender strategies given our opportunistic adversaries. Our third contribution is the development of a fast heuristic algorithm to solve large-scale OSG problems, exploiting a compact representation.We use urban transportation systems as a critical motivating domain, and provide detailed experimental results based on a real-world system.


Full State Stackelberg Game Markov Chain State Ergodic Markov Chain Opportunistic Criminal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chao Zhang
    • 1
  • Albert Xin Jiang
    • 1
  • Martin B. Short
    • 2
  • P. Jeffrey Brantingham
    • 3
  • Milind Tambe
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.University of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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