Deployed ARMOR protection: The application of a game theoretic model for security at the Los Angeles International Airport

James Pita, Manish Jain, Janusz Marecki, Fernando Ordonez, Christopher Portway, Milind Tambe, Craig Western, Praveen Paruchuri, Sarit Kraus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

202 Scopus citations


Security at major locations of economic or political importance is a key concern around the world, particularly given the threat of terrorism. Limited security resources prevent full security coverage at all times, which allows adversaries to observe and exploit patterns in selective patrolling or monitoring, e.g. they can plan an attack avoiding existing patrols. Hence, randomized patrolling or monitoring is important, but randomization must provide distinct weights to different actions based on their complex costs and benefits. To this end, this paper describes a promising transition of the latest in multi-agent algorithms - in fact, an algorithm that represents a culmination of research presented at AAMAS - into a deployed application. In particular, it describes a software assistant agent called ARMOR (Assistant for Randomized Monitoring over Routes) that casts this patrolling/monitoring problem as a Bayesian Stackelberg game, allowing the agent to appropriately weigh the different actions in randomization, as well as uncertainty over adversary types. ARMOR combines three key features: (i) It uses the fastest known solver for Bayesian Stackelberg games called DOBSS, where the dominant mixed strategies enable randomization; (ii) Its mixed-initiative based interface allows users to occasionally adjust or override the automated schedule based on their local constraints; (iii) It alerts the users if mixed-initiative overrides appear to degrade the overall desired randomization. ARMOR has been successfully deployed since August 2007 at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to randomize checkpoints on the roadways entering the airport and canine patrol routes within the airport terminals. This paper examines the information, design choices, challenges, and evaluation that went into designing ARMOR. Copyright © 2008, International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems ( All rights reserved.Grant: Acknowledgement ARMOR'S deployment at LAX has only been possible due to the exceptional effort by LAWA police to strike a collaboration. This research was supported by the United States Department of Homeland Security through the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE) under grant number 2007-ST-061-000001. However, any opinions, finidngs, and conclusions or recommendations in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect views of the United States Department of Homeland Security. We would also like to thank the National Science Foundation for their contributions under grant number IS0705587.


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