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Defending a Star: Coordinating the Defense of a Network


  • Kory M. Garner

    () (Department of Economics, Purdue University
    Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California)


This experiment focuses on a contest played over a star network of 6 nodes. By placing targets in a network, the value of a target is dependent on its connectivity to other targets. The experiment compares the cases where the defense is centrally planned by a defense planner with a case where the defense is coordinated by six individuals each placed at one node in the network. By additionally varying how many targets the attacker may target, the experimental design consists of a 2 × 2 design. Attackers tend to over exert effort on the Center Node whereas defenders tend to place too little effort on the Center Node (with one exception). These attack and defense allocations lead to defenders earning smaller than equilibrium profits (again with one exception). It appears that Defense Planners manage to plan a defense better than the Coordinated Defenders when facing an attacker who may only target one node. However, Defense Planners are not certain to perform better than Coordinated Defenders as the Planner earns a smaller profit on average (but is less volatile in his earnings).

Suggested Citation

  • Kory M. Garner, 2012. "Defending a Star: Coordinating the Defense of a Network," Working Papers 12-25, NET Institute, revised Oct 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:1225

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    More about this item


    Contests; Star Network; Robust Networks; Coordinated Defense; Defense Planner; Laboratory Experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior


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