Bridging Fault Tolerance and Game Theory for Assuring Cyberspace


Posted: March 8, 2016 | By: Dr. Kevin A. Kwiat, Charles A. Kamhoua

John Nash’s famous proof that there is an equilibrium for every finite game is a strong motivation to adopt game theory: once obtained, an equilibrium brings a “strategic pause” to the continuous revolutions depicted in the loops of Figures 1-3. Without such a pause a loop can become like a vortex continually drawing in resources – presenting a challenge to not only sustaining the loop but to the mission itself. Instantiating these loops becomes an engineering enterprise that calls upon sound judgement of the human, software, hardware and communications resources required to execute them. They are strategic loops, so they too are the outcome of a strategy. Our formation of this underlying strategy calls upon this fact: is not unknown in war for a side to win every battle, but, through flawed strategy, to lose the war [18]. Therefore, the building of our bridge between fault tolerance and game theory spans 1) discovering the most promising strategy and 2) applying the engineering principles so that even if a fault occurs, the strategy does not become flawed. These discovery and engineering processes for assuring cyberspace continue with STORM.


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[6] Fault Tolerance for Fight Through (FTFT), AFRL Final Report, AFRL-RI-RS-TR-2013-039, February 2013.

[7] Kwiat, K., “Fault Tolerance for Fight-Through: A Basis for Strategic Survival,” Proceedings of the ACM 4th International Conference on Security of Information and Networks (SIN) held in Sydney, Australia, November 2011.

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[11] Kamhoua, C., Kwiat, K., Chatterjee, M., Park, J., and Hurley, P., “Replication and Diversity for Survivability in Cyberspace: A Game Theoretic Approach,” in Proceedings of the International Conference of information Warfare ( ICIW 2013) Denver, Colorado, USA, March 2013.

[12] Kamhoua, C., Kwiat, K., and Park, J., “Surviving in Cyberspace: A Game Theoretic Approach” in the Journal of Communications, Special Issue on Future Directions in Computing and Networking, Academy Publisher, Vol. 7, No 6, June 2012.

[13] Kamhoua, C., Hurley, P., Kwiat, K., and Park, J., “Resilient Voting Mechanisms for Mission Survivability in Cyberspace: Combining Replication and Diversity” in the International Journal of Network Security and Its Applications (IJNSA), Vol.4, No.4, July 2012.

[14] Kamhoua, C., Kwiat, L., Kwiat, K., Park, J., Zhao, M., Rodriguez, M., “Game Theoretic Modeling of Security and Interdependency in a Public Cloud” in the proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing, (IEEE CLOUD 2014) Anchorage, Alaska, June 2014.

[15] Kwiat, L., Kamhoua, C., Kwiat, K., Tang, J., and Martin, A., “Security-aware Virtual Machine Allocation in the Cloud: A Game Theoretic Approach” in the proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing, (IEEE CLOUD 2015) New York, New York, June-July 2015.

[16] Kamhoua, C., Martin, A., Tosh, D., Kwiat, K., Heitzenrater, C., Sengupta, S., “Cyber-threats Information Sharing in Cloud Computing: A game Theoretic Approach” in the proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Cyber Security and Cloud Computing (CSCloud 2015), New York, November 2015.

[17] Kamhoua, C., Ruan, C., Martin, A., Kwiat, K., “On the Feasibility of an Open-Implementation Cloud Infrastructure: A Game Theoretic Analysis” in the proceedings of the 2015 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Utility and Cloud Computing (UCC 2015), Limassol, Cyprus, December 2015.

[18] Richards, C., Certain to Win: The Strategy of John Boyd Applied to Business, Xlibris, 2004.


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