Solving network security problems using game theory and large-scale optimization

Date: 2022/07/15 - 2022/07/15

Academic Seminar: Solving network security problems using game theory and large-scale optimization

Speaker: Saurabh Amin, Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Time: 10:00 - 11:30, July 15, 2022 (Beijing Time)

Location: via Feishu (Meeting ID: 993 3805 5160 Password: 635009)


Game theory has emerged as a powerful tool for modeling attacker-defender interactions in network security problems. Major applications include robust network design, interdicting illegal or malicious flows, and both pre- and post-attack defense operations. In these applications, equilibrium characterization is central for determining optimal defense strategies in the face of sophisticated attacks that can target one or more components based on the knowledge of the network structure and defender’s capabilities. Problems that involve threat of such attacks are challenging to solve, especially because the defender needs to simultaneously coordinate and/or dispatch multiple defense resources (e.g., sensors, interdiction traffic stops, emergency response crews). In this talk, we present new results that combine game-theoretic intuition with ideas from network flow and combinatorial optimization to tractably solve network security problems with these features. Our results provide useful insights regarding optimal defense strategies and criticality of network components. Time permitting, we will discuss related issues that arise in multi-stage problems involving both proactive resource allocation and dynamic recovery operations.


Saurabh Amin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at MIT with he leads the Resilient Infrastructure Networks Lab (RESIL). He currently serves as Director of Henry L. Pierce Laboratory for Infrastructure Science and Engineering and CEE Undergraduate Officer. He is a member of the Laboratory of Information and Decision Systems (LIDS) and the Operations Research Center (ORC) at MIT. Since joining MIT in 2011, he has pursued research in the design of inspection and control algorithms for infrastructure systems. His work builds on foundations in control theory, game theory, and optimization in networks. His papers have addressed problems in resilient network control, information systems and incentive design, and optimal resource allocation in large-scale infrastructure systems. By focusing on the domains of highway transportation, electric power distribution, and urban water networks, he develops new theory and design tools for improving the performance of critical infrastructure systems in the face of disruptions, both stochastic and adversarial. Amin received his Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from the University of California Berkeley in 2011. His mentees have secured tenure-track positions at major universities, including Cornell University, Georgia Tech, NYU, USMA West Point, and UT Austin.