Surviving in cyberspace: A game theoretic approach

Charles A. Kamhoua, Kevin A. Kwiat, Joon S. Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


As information systems become ever more complex and the interdependence of these systems increases, a mission-critical system should have the fight-through ability to sustain damage yet survive with mission assurance in cyberspace. To satisfy this requirement, in this paper we propose a game theoretic approach to binary voting with a weighted majority to aggregate observations among replicated nodes. Nodes are of two types: They either vote truthfully or are malicious and thus lie. Voting is strategically performed based on a node's belief about the percentage of compromised nodes in the system. Voting is cast as a stage game model that is a Bayesian Zero-sum game. In the resulting Bayesian Nash equilibrium, if more than a critical proportion of nodes are compromised, their collective decision is only 50% reliable; therefore, no information is obtained from voting. We overcome this by formalizing a repeated game model that guarantees a highly reliable decision process even though nearly all nodes are compromised. A survival analysis is performed to derive the total time of mission survival for both a one-shot game and the repeated game. Mathematical proofs and simulations support our model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)436-450
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Communications
Issue number6 SPECL. ISSUE
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Bayesian game
  • Binary voting
  • Cyberspace
  • Fault-tolerant networks
  • Fight-through
  • Network security
  • Survivability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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