Research Output
Attacker-defender models and road network vulnerability
  The reliability of road networks depends directly on their vulnerability to disruptive incidents, ranging in severity from minor disruptions to terrorist attacks. This paper presents a game theoretic approach to the analysis of road network vulnerability. The approach posits predefined disruption, attack or failure scenarios and then considers how to use the road network so as to minimize the maximum expected loss in the event of one of these scenarios coming to fruition. A mixed route strategy is adopted, meaning that the use of the road network is determined by the worst scenario probabilities. This is equivalent to risk-averse route choice. A solution algorithm suitable for use with standard traffic assignment software is presented, thereby enabling the use of electronic road navigation networks. A variant of this algorithm suitable for risk-averse assignment is developed. A numerical example relating to the central London road network is presented. The results highlight points of vulnerability in the road network. Applications of this form of network vulnerability analysis together with improved solution methods are discussed.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    31 December 2008

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    The Royal Society

  • DOI:


  • ISSN:


  • Library of Congress:

    HE Transportation and Communications

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    388 Transportation; ground transportation


Bell, M. G. H., Kanturska, U., Schmocker, J. D., & Fonzone, A. (2008). Attacker-defender models and road network vulnerability. Philosophical Transactions A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 366, 1893-1906.



transport network vulnerability; defender–attacker–defender; risk-averse routing; game theory; networks under attack

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