Vortrag: "Optimizing Counter-Terror Operations" mit Gustav Feichtinger

    antirep  vortrag 

    Mittwoch, 14.11.2012
    10.00 Uhr
    IWR, INF 368, Raum 432

    (Vermutlich rechnet dort niemand mit kritischen Nachfragen)

    Considering the aftermaths of September 11th, it is needless to say that the impact of terror and counter-terror measures poses many complex challenges to decision makers such as governments, security and military organizations. The purpose of the present contribution is to illustrate how methods of optimal control and dynamic games may be applied to terror related problems to provide insights into questions of how to effectively fight terror. The state variable of such an intertemporal conflict situation, x, corresponds to the number of terrorists (or, more generally, the power of this organization). In the resulting two-player differential game both opponents have to select the intensity of attacks and counter-attacks both reducing the strength x. Both opponents have to take into consideration the trade-off between the utility and the costs of their measures.

    Two versions of a one-state non-zero sum dynamic game are presented. In the first case the terrorists are interested both in becoming powerful (by increasing x) as well as maximizing their attacks, while the target country intends to eliminate as many terrorists as possible. Focusing our analysis to open-loop Nash equilibria, we are able to derive a stable limit cycle for the long-run behavior. Note that the government´s efforts follow essentially the periodic strength of the terrorists, whereas the terrorists behave anti-cyclically.

    In another version, the target country tries to minimize the strength of the terrorists as well as the intensity of their attacks, while the terrorists’ political objectives induce excessive counter-attacks as an indirect way of stirring up sentiments against the target country. Moreover, the systems dynamics includes the (undesirable indirect) effect in increasing the recruitment rate of terrorists due to collateral damages induced by the target country´s counter-terror measures. Confining to the interior solutions, we are able to calculate stationary Nash equilibria. Due to the state-separability of this dynamic game, its open-loop Nash equilibrium qualifies as Markovian (feedback) solution. The state-control separability allows to determine also stationary Stackelberg solutions. The explicit calculations allow a comparative static analysis delivering valuable insights into the design of optimal counter-terror strategies.

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