MP Wellman, TH Kim, and Q Duong

Presented at the 12th Workshop on the Economics of Information Security, June 2013.


Formal analyses of incentives for compliance with network protocols often appeal to game-theoretic models and concepts. Applications of game-theoretic analysis to network security have generally been limited to highly stylized models, where simplified environments enable tractable study of key strategic variables. We propose a simulation-based approach to game-theoretic analysis of protocol compliance, for scenarios with large populations of agents and large policy spaces. We define a general procedure for systematically exploring a structured policy space, directed expressly to resolve the qualitative classification of equilibrium behavior as compliant or non-compliant. The techniques are illustrated and exercised through an extensive case study analyzing compliance incentives for introduction-based routing. We find that the benefits of complying with the protocol are particularly strong for nodes subject to attack, and the overall compliance level achieved in equilibrium, while not universal, is sufficient to support the desired security goals of the protocol.

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