Title: Attacker-defender game from a network science perspective
Authors: Ya-Peng Li, Suo-Yi Tan, Ye Deng, Jun Wu*
Abstract: Dealing with the protection of critical infrastructures, many game-theoretic methods have been developed to study the strategic interactions between defenders and attackers. However, most game models ignore the interrelationship between different components within a certain system. In this paper, we propose a simultaneous-move attacker-defender game model, which is a two-player zero-sum static game with complete information. The strategies and payoffs of this game are defined on the basis of the topology structure of the infrastructure system, which is represented by a complex network. Due to the complexity of strategies, the attack and defense strategies are con- fined by two typical strategies, namely, targeted strategy and random strategy. The simulation results indicate that in a scale-free network, the attacker virtually always attacks randomly in the Nash equilibrium. With a small cost-sensitive parameter, representing the degree to which costs increase with the importance of a target, the defender protects the hub targets with large degrees preferentially. When the cost-sensitive parameter exceeds a threshold, the defender switches to protecting nodes randomly. Our work provides a new theoretical framework to analyze the confron- tations between the attacker and the defender on critical infrastructures and deserves further study.