Cooperative Systems Design in Adversarial Environments

The Colonel Blotto game describes a scenario where two opposing Colonels strategically allocate their limited resources across multiple battlefields. The game is compelling for a multitude of reasons, having numerous applications in military strategy. Optimal strategies in the Colonel Blotto game are highly complex – the game does not admit pure strategy equilibria in settings of interest. Mixed equilibria have been characterized for special setups in only a handful of landmark papers. These contributions, however, are almost exclusively in a complete information setting. In this thrust, we investigate incomplete and asymmetric information scenarios where the Colonels may have incomplete information regarding the battlefield valuations and the opposing Colonel’s budget. Focusing on the framework of General Lotto games, a well-known variant of Colonel Blotto, we provide a complete analytical characterization of the Bayesian Nash equilibria for all instances of this game. This characterization identifies the “value of information” in such domains, i.e., the performance improvement attainable by having better information.  Lastly, we explore the importance of information dissemination as a strategic component of decision-making in adversarial environments. That is, is it ever strategically advantageous to disclose information about one’s intentions in competitive scenarios.  Surprisingly, the answer is yes and we provide a characterization of when this is the case.

Capability: T2C1H 

Points of Contact: Jason R. Marden (PI), Keith Paarporn, Rahul Chandan 


Citation: K. Paarporn, R. Chandan, M. Alizadeh, and J. R. Marden. A General Lotto game with asymmetric budget uncertainty. 2021 (under review).  K. Paarporn et al., “Asymmetric battlefield uncertainty in General Lotto games,” 2021 (under review).