Adversarial Risk Analysis for Counterterrorism Modeling

Jesús Ríos
David Ríos Insúa
Risk Analysis Journal, Wiley, vol 32, n.5, pp.894-915, May 2012
Recent large scale terrorist attacks have raised interest in models for resource allocation against terrorist threats. The unifying theme in this area is the need to develop methods for the analysis of allocation decisions when risks stem from the intentional actions of intelligent adversaries. Most approaches to these problems have a game theoretic flavor although there are also several interesting decision analytic based proposals. One of them is the recently introduced framework for adversarial risk analysis, which deals with decision making problems that involve intelligent opponents and uncertain outcomes. We explore how adversarial risk analysis addresses some standard counterterrorism models: simultaneous defend-attack models, sequential defend-attack-defend models and sequential defend-attack models with private information. For each model, we first assess critically what would be a typical game theoretic approach and then provide the corresponding solution proposed by the adversarial risk analysis framework, emphasizing how to coherently assess a predictive probability model of the adversary’s actions, in a context in which we aim at supporting decisions of a defender versus an attacker. This illustrates the application of adversarial risk analysis to basic counterterrorism models that may be used as basic building blocks for more complex risk analysis of counterterrorism problems. SRA Best Paper Award 2012.