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Manhunting — A Simple Search Game

  • GORDON H. MCCORMICK

    (Department of Defense Analysis, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, 93943, USA)

  • GUILLERMO OWEN

    (Department of Mathematics, Naval Postgraduate School Monterey, California, 93943, USA)

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    We consider a search game in which a hider chooses to hide in any one of many cells. A searcher looks in any of the cells. The probability of finding the hider depends (a) on the characteristics of the cell, and (b) on whether the searcher looks in the right cell. It is possible that the hider may be found even if the searcher looks in the wrong cell. In one variant, the searcher wishes to maximize the probability of capture; in the other, the searcher wishes to minimize the expected time to capture. We show that the game can be solved by an easy algorithm, which allows for the manual solution of games with (of the order of) one hundred cells in a relatively short time. Some examples are given.

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    Article provided by World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. in its journal International Game Theory Review.

    Volume (Year): 12 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 04 ()
    Pages: 293-308

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    Handle: RePEc:wsi:igtrxx:v:12:y:2010:i:04:p:293-308
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