Strategically revealing intentions in General Lotto games

by   Keith Paarporn, et al.

Strategic decision-making in uncertain and adversarial environments is crucial for the security of modern systems and infrastructures. A salient feature of many optimal decision-making policies is a level of unpredictability, or randomness, which helps to keep an adversary uncertain about the system's behavior. This paper seeks to explore decision-making policies on the other end of the spectrum – namely, whether there are benefits in revealing one's strategic intentions to an opponent before engaging in competition. We study these scenarios in a well-studied model of competitive resource allocation problem known as General Lotto games. In the classic formulation, two competing players simultaneously allocate their assets to a set of battlefields, and the resulting payoffs are derived in a zero-sum fashion. Here, we consider a multi-step extension where one of the players has the option to publicly pre-commit assets in a binding fashion to battlefields before play begins. In response, the opponent decides which of these battlefields to secure (or abandon) by matching the pre-commitment with its own assets. They then engage in a General Lotto game over the remaining set of battlefields. Interestingly, this paper highlights many scenarios where strategically revealing intentions can actually significantly improve one's payoff. This runs contrary to the conventional wisdom that randomness should be a central component of decision-making in adversarial environments.


page 1

page 2

page 3

page 4


When showing your hand pays off: Announcing strategic intentions in Colonel Blotto games

In competitive adversarial environments, it is often advantageous to obf...

Strategic investments in multi-stage General Lotto games

In adversarial interactions, one is often required to make strategic dec...

Sharp Thresholds of the Information Cascade Fragility Under a Mismatched Model

We analyze a sequential decision making model in which decision makers (...

Game Theory in defence applications: a review

This paper presents a succinct review of attempts in the literature to u...

A Survey of Decision Making in Adversarial Games

Game theory has by now found numerous applications in various fields, in...

Ultrafast photonic reinforcement learning based on laser chaos

Reinforcement learning involves decision making in dynamic and uncertain...

A risk-security tradeoff in graphical coordination games

A system relying on the collective behavior of decision-makers can be vu...