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The Attack and Defense of Weakest-Link Networks

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  • Dan Kovenock
  • 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 & Brian Roberson & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2010. "The Attack and Defense of Weakest-Link Networks," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1256, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pur:prukra:1256
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Colonel Blotto; conflict resolution; weakest-link; best-shot; multi-dimensional resource allocation; experiments;
    All these keywords.

    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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