An agent-based empirical game theory approach for airport security patrols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

35 Downloads (Pure)


Airports are attractive targets for terrorists, as they are designed to accommodate and process large amounts of people, resulting in a high concentration of potential victims. A popular method to mitigate the risk of terrorist attacks is through security patrols, but resources are often limited. Game theory is commonly used as a methodology to find optimal patrol routes for security agents such that security risks are minimized. However, game-theoretic models suffer from payoff uncertainty and often rely solely on expert assessment to estimate game payoffs. Experts cannot incorporate all aspects of a terrorist attack in their assessment. For instance, attacker behavior, which contributes to the game payoff rewards, is hard to estimate precisely. To address this shortcoming, we proposed a novel empirical game theory approach in which payoffs are estimated using agent-based modeling. Using this approach, we simulated different attacker and defender strategies in an agent-based model to estimate game-theoretic payoffs, while a security game was used to find optimal security patrols. We performed a case study at a regional airport, and show that the optimal security patrol is non-deterministic and gives special emphasis to high-impact areas, such as the security checkpoint. The found security patrol routes are an improvement over previously found security strategies of the same case study.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8
Number of pages22
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Agent-based modeling
  • Airport security
  • Empirical game theory
  • Patrolling games
  • Security game


Dive into the research topics of 'An agent-based empirical game theory approach for airport security patrols'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this