Kiekintveld, Christopher


Teaching Automated Strategic Reasoning Using Capstone Tournaments

AAAI Conferences

Courses in artificial intelligence and related topics often cover methods for reasoning under uncertainty, decision theory, and game theory. However, these methods can seem very abstract when students first encounter them, and they are often taught using simple “toy” problems. Our goal is to help students to operationalize this knowledge by designing sophisticated autonomous agents that must make complex decisions in games that capture their interest. We describe a tournament-based pedagogy that we have used in two different courses with two different games based on current research topics in artificial intelligence to engage students in designing agents that use strategic reasoning. Many students find this structure very engaging, and we find that students develop a deeper understanding of the abstract strategic reasoning concepts introduced in the courses.


Using Correlated Strategies for Computing Stackelberg Equilibria in Extensive-Form Games

AAAI Conferences

Strong Stackelberg Equilibrium (SSE) is a fundamental solution concept in game theory in which one player commits to a strategy, while the other player observes this commitment and plays a best response. We present a new algorithm for computing SSE for two-player extensive-form general-sum games with imperfect information (EFGs) where computing SSE is an NP-hard problem. Our algorithm is based on a correlated version of SSE, known as Stackelberg Extensive-Form Correlated Equilibrium (SEFCE). Our contribution is therefore twofold: (1) we give the first linear program for computing SEFCE in EFGs without chance, (2) we repeatedly solve and modify this linear program in a systematic search until we arrive to SSE. Our new algorithm outperforms the best previous algorithms by several orders of magnitude.


Reports on the 2015 AAAI Spring Symposium Series

AI Magazine

The AAAI 2015 Spring Symposium Series was held Monday through Wednesday, March 23-25, at Stanford University near Palo Alto, California. The titles of the seven symposia were Ambient Intelligence for Health and Cognitive Enhancement, Applied Computational Game Theory, Foundations of Autonomy and Its (Cyber) Threats: From Individuals to Interdependence, Knowledge Representation and Reasoning: Integrating Symbolic and Neural Approaches, Logical Formalizations of Commonsense Reasoning, Socio-Technical Behavior Mining: From Data to Decisions, Structured Data for Humanitarian Technologies: Perfect Fit or Overkill?


Reports on the 2015 AAAI Spring Symposium Series

AI Magazine

The AAAI 2015 Spring Symposium Series was held Monday through Wednesday, March 23-25, at Stanford University near Palo Alto, California. The titles of the seven symposia were Ambient Intelligence for Health and Cognitive Enhancement, Applied Computational Game Theory, Foundations of Autonomy and Its (Cyber) Threats: From Individuals to Interdependence, Knowledge Representation and Reasoning: Integrating Symbolic and Neural Approaches, Logical Formalizations of Commonsense Reasoning, Socio-Technical Behavior Mining: From Data to Decisions, Structured Data for Humanitarian Technologies: Perfect Fit or Overkill? and Turn-Taking and Coordination in Human-Machine Interaction.The highlights of each symposium are presented in this report.


TRUSTS: Scheduling Randomized Patrols for Fare Inspection in Transit Systems Using Game Theory

AI Magazine

In proof-of-payment transit systems, passengers are legally required to purchase tickets before entering but are not physically forced to do so. Instead, patrol units move about the transit system, inspecting the tickets of passengers, who face fines if caught fare evading. TRUSTS models the problem of computing patrol strategies as a leader-follower Stackelberg game where the objective is to deter fare evasion and hence maximize revenue. We present an efficient algorithm for computing such patrol strategies and present experimental results using real-world ridership data from the Los Angeles Metro Rail system.


TRUSTS: Scheduling Randomized Patrols for Fare Inspection in Transit Systems Using Game Theory

AI Magazine

In proof-of-payment transit systems, passengers are legally required to purchase tickets before entering but are not physically forced to do so. Instead, patrol units move about the transit system, inspecting the tickets of passengers, who face fines if caught fare evading. The deterrence of fare evasion depends on the unpredictability and effectiveness of the patrols. In this paper, we present TRUSTS, an application for scheduling randomized patrols for fare inspection in transit systems. TRUSTS models the problem of computing patrol strategies as a leader-follower Stackelberg game where the objective is to deter fare evasion and hence maximize revenue. This problem differs from previously studied Stackelberg settings in that the leader strategies must satisfy massive temporal and spatial constraints; moreover, unlike in these counterterrorism-motivated Stackelberg applications, a large fraction of the ridership might realistically consider fare evasion, and so the number of followers is potentially huge. A third key novelty in our work is deliberate simplification of leader strategies to make patrols easier to be executed. We present an efficient algorithm for computing such patrol strategies and present experimental results using real-world ridership data from the Los Angeles Metro Rail system. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department is currently carrying out trials of TRUSTS.


Security Games with Limited Surveillance

AAAI Conferences

Randomized first-mover strategies of Stackelberg games are used in several deployed applications to allocate limited resources for the protection of critical infrastructure. Stackelberg games model the fact that a strategic attacker can surveil and exploit the defender's strategy, and randomization guards against the worst effects by making the defender less predictable. In accordance with the standard game-theoretic model of Stackelberg games, past work has typically assumed that the attacker has perfect knowledge of the defender's randomized strategy and will react correspondingly. In light of the fact that surveillance is costly, risky, and delays an attack, this assumption is clearly simplistic: attackers will usually act on partial knowledge of the defender's strategies. The attacker's imperfect estimate could present opportunities and possibly also threats to a strategic defender. In this paper, we therefore begin a systematic study of security games with limited surveillance. We propose a natural model wherein an attacker forms or updates a belief based on observed actions, and chooses an optimal response. We investigate the model both theoretically and experimentally. In particular, we give mathematical programs to compute optimal attacker and defender strategies for a fixed observation duration, and show how to use them to estimate the attacker's observation durations. Our experimental results show that the defender can achieve significant improvement in expected utility by taking the attacker's limited surveillance into account, validating the motivation of our work.


Reports of the AAAI 2011 Conference Workshops

AI Magazine

The AAAI-11 workshop program was held Sunday and Monday, August 7–18, 2011, at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco in San Francisco, California USA. The AAAI-11 workshop program included 15 workshops covering a wide range of topics in artificial intelligence. The titles of the workshops were Activity Context Representation: Techniques and Languages; Analyzing Microtext; Applied Adversarial Reasoning and Risk Modeling; Artificial Intelligence and Smarter Living: The Conquest of Complexity; AI for Data Center Management and Cloud Computing; Automated Action Planning for Autonomous Mobile Robots; Computational Models of Natural Argument; Generalized Planning; Human Computation; Human-Robot Interaction in Elder Care; Interactive Decision Theory and Game Theory; Language-Action Tools for Cognitive Artificial Agents: Integrating Vision, Action and Language; Lifelong Learning; Plan, Activity, and Intent Recognition; and Scalable Integration of Analytics and Visualization. This article presents short summaries of those events.


Reports of the AAAI 2011 Conference Workshops

AI Magazine

The AAAI-11 workshop program was held Sunday and Monday, August 7–18, 2011, at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco in San Francisco, California USA. The AAAI-11 workshop program included 15 workshops covering a wide range of topics in artificial intelligence. The titles of the workshops were Activity Context Representation: Techniques and Languages; Analyzing Microtext; Applied Adversarial Reasoning and Risk Modeling; Artificial Intelligence and Smarter Living: The Conquest of Complexity; AI for Data Center Management and Cloud Computing; Automated Action Planning for Autonomous Mobile Robots; Computational Models of Natural Argument; Generalized Planning; Human Computation; Human-Robot Interaction in Elder Care; Interactive Decision Theory and Game Theory; Language-Action Tools for Cognitive Artificial Agents: Integrating Vision, Action and Language; Lifelong Learning; Plan, Activity, and Intent Recognition; and Scalable Integration of Analytics and Visualization. This article presents short summaries of those events.


Security Games with Arbitrary Schedules: A Branch and Price Approach

AAAI Conferences

Security games, and important class of Stackelberg games, are used in deployed decision-support tools in use by LAX police and the Federal Air Marshals Service. The algorithms used to solve these games find optimal randomized schedules to allocate security resources for infrastructure protection. Unfortunately, the state of the art algorithms either fail to scale or to provide a correct solution for large problems with arbitrary scheduling constraints. We introduce ASPEN, a branch-and-price approach that overcomes these limitations based on two key contributions: (i) A column-generation approach that exploits a novel network flow representation, avoiding a combinatorial explosion of schedule allocations; (ii) A branch-and-bound algorithm that generates bounds via a fast algorithm for solving security games with relaxed scheduling constraints. ASPEN is the first known method for efficiently solving massive security games with arbitrary schedules.