The Attack and Defense of Weakest-Link Networks

31 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2018

See all articles by Dan Kovenock

Dan Kovenock

Chapman University - Economic Science Institute; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Brian Roberson

Purdue University - Department of Economics

Roman M. Sheremeta

Case Western Reserve University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 25, 2018

Abstract

We experimentally test the qualitatively different equilibrium predictions of two theoretical models of attack and defense of a weakest-link network of targets. In such a network, the attacker’s objective is to assault at least one target successfully and the defender’s objective is to defend all targets. The models differ in how the conflict at each target is modeled — specifically, the lottery and auction contest success functions (CSFs). Consistent with equilibrium in the auction CSF model, attackers utilize a stochastic “guerrilla-warfare” strategy, which involves attacking at most one target arbitrarily with a random level of force. Inconsistent with equilibrium in the lottery CSF model, attackers use the “guerrilla-warfare” strategy and assault only one target instead of the equilibrium “complete-coverage” strategy that attacks all targets. Consistent with equilibrium in both models, as the attacker’s valuation increases, the average resource expenditure, the probability of winning, and the average payoff increase (decrease) for the attacker (defender).

Keywords: Colonel Blotto, weakest-link, best-shot, multi-dimensional resource allocation, experiments

JEL Classification: C72, C91, D72, D74

Suggested Citation

Kovenock, Daniel and Roberson, Brian and Sheremeta, Roman M., The Attack and Defense of Weakest-Link Networks (May 25, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3258647 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3258647

Daniel Kovenock

Chapman University - Economic Science Institute ( email )

One University Dr.
Orange, CA 92866
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

Brian Roberson

Purdue University - Department of Economics ( email )

West Lafayette, IN 47907-1310
United States

Roman M. Sheremeta (Contact Author)

Case Western Reserve University ( email )

10900 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106
United States

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