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The Attack and Defense of Weakest-Link Networks

Author

Listed:
  • Dan Kovenock J.
  • Brian Roberson
  • Roman M. Sheremeta

Abstract

This paper experimentally examines behavior in a two-player game of attack and defense of a weakest-link network of targets, in which the attacker’s objective is to successfully attack at least one target and the defender’s objective is diametrically opposed. We apply two benchmark contest success functions (CSFs): the auction CSF and the lottery CSF. Consistent with the theoretical prediction, under the auction CSF, attackers utilize a stochastic “guerilla warfare” strategy — in which a single random target is attacked — more than 80% of the time. Under the lottery CSF, attackers utilize the stochastic guerilla warfare strategy almost 45% of the time, contrary to the theoretical prediction of an equal allocation of forces across the targets.

Suggested Citation

  • Dan Kovenock J. & Brian Roberson & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2010. "The Attack and Defense of Weakest-Link Networks," CESifo Working Paper Series 3211, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3211
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp3211.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Colonel Blotto; conflict resolution; weakest-link; best-shot; multi-dimensional resource allocation; experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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