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Network games with applications in cyber-security

Event Date: December 6, 2017
Speaker: Dr. Parinaz Naghizadeh
Speaker Affiliation: Purdue University
Type: ECE Seminar
Time: 3:00pm
Location: MSEE 239
Contact Name: Professor Shreyas Sundaram
Contact Phone: 765-49-60406
Contact Email:
Priority: No
School or Program: Electrical and Computer Engineering
College Calendar: Show

The outcomes of many social and economic interactions are affected by an underlying network of connections among their agents. For instance, networks play a central role in the provision of public goods (e.g. cyber security), where they determine the externalities among agents, and consequently, the aggregate level of public good in the network (e.g. network security).

In this talk, we first study the design of incentive mechanisms, and in particular cyber-insurance contracts, for improving the provision of security over a network of agents with interdependent security. We discuss the challenges and opportunities that arise due to the agents' interdependence, and show that knowledge of the network structure plays a key role in the design of incentive mechanisms in these environments.

Motivated by this finding, we develop a unified framework for characterizing the role of the underlying graph structure in determining outcomes of strategic interactions over networks. To this end, we establish a connection between the Nash equilibrium outcomes of network games with non-linear (linear) best-response functions and variational inequality (linear complementarity) problems. Using these connections, we identify sufficient (and necessary) conditions for existence and uniqueness of Nash equilibria in these games. We further derive a connection between agents' efforts and their centralities in the network, and illustrate how this finding can provide guidelines for targeted interventions that improve a network's state of cyber-security.

Parinaz Naghizadeh is a postdoctoral researcher in electrical engineering at Purdue University working with Prof. Mung Chiang. Her research interests are in network economics, game theory, cyber security, optimization, and data analytics. She received her Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan in 2016, M.Sc. degrees in electrical engineering and mathematics, both from the University of Michigan, in 2013 and 2014, respectively, and her B.Sc. in electrical engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Iran, in 2010.