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Choosing what to protect when attacker resources and asset valuations are uncertain

Listed author(s):
  • Kjell Hausken

    ()

This paper models the situation where the attacker’s resources are unknown to the defender. Protecting assets presupposes that the defender has some information on the attacker’s resource capabilities. An attacker targets one of two assets. The attacker’s resources and valuations of these assets are drawn probabilistically. We specify when the isoutility curves are upward sloping (the defender prefers to invest less in defense, thus leading to higher probabilities of success for attacks on both assets) or downward sloping (e.g. when one asset has a low value or high unit defense cost). This stands in contrast to earlier research and results from the uncertainty regarding the level of the attacker’s resources. We determine which asset the attacker targets depending on his type, unit attack costs, the contest intensity, and investment in defense. A two stage game is considered, where the defender moves first and the attacker moves second. When both assets are equivalent and are treated equivalently by both players, an interior equilibrium exists when contest intensity is low, and a corner equilibrium with no defense exists when contest intensity is large and the attacker holds large resources. Defense efforts are inverse U shaped in the attacker’s resources.

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Article provided by Wroclaw University of Technology, Institute of Organization and Management in its journal Operations Research and Decisions.

Volume (Year): 3 (2014)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 23-44

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Handle: RePEc:wut:journl:v:3:y:2014:p:23-44:id:1105
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  1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:101:y:2007:i:04:p:799-809_07 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Vicki Bier & Santiago Oliveros & Larry Samuelson, 2007. "Choosing What to Protect: Strategic Defensive Allocation against an Unknown Attacker," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(4), pages 563-587, August.
  3. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
  4. Jun Zhuang & Vicki M. Bier, 2007. "Balancing Terrorism and Natural Disasters---Defensive Strategy with Endogenous Attacker Effort," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 55(5), pages 976-991, October.
  5. repec:eee:reensy:v:112:y:2013:i:c:p:176-186 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Zhuang, Jun & Bier, Vicki M. & Alagoz, Oguzhan, 2010. "Modeling secrecy and deception in a multiple-period attacker-defender signaling game," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 203(2), pages 409-418, June.
  7. Powell, Robert, 2009. "Sequential, nonzero-sum "Blotto": Allocating defensive resources prior to attack," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 611-615, November.
  8. Russell Golman & Scott Page, 2009. "General Blotto: games of allocative strategic mismatch," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(3), pages 279-299, March.
  9. Mark Fey, 2008. "Rent-seeking contests with incomplete information," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 225-236, June.
  10. Jun Zhuang & Vicki Bier, 2011. "Secrecy And Deception At Equilibrium, With Applications To Anti-Terrorism Resource Allocation," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 43-61.
  11. Levitin, Gregory & Hausken, Kjell, 2009. "False targets efficiency in defense strategy," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 194(1), pages 155-162, April.
  12. Bernhardt, Dan & Polborn, Mattias K., 2010. "Non-convexities and the gains from concealing defenses from committed terrorists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(1), pages 52-54, April.
  13. repec:cup:apsrev:v:101:y:2007:i:03:p:527-541_07 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Sandler, Todd & Lapan, Harvey E., 1988. "The Calculus of Dissent: An Analysis of Terrorists' Choice of Targets," Staff General Research Papers Archive 10818, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  15. Shan, Xiaojun & Zhuang, Jun, 2013. "Hybrid defensive resource allocations in the face of partially strategic attackers in a sequential defender–attacker game," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 228(1), pages 262-272.
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