Infection Spreading and Source Identification: A Hide and Seek Game
Tay, Wee Peng
Date of Issue2016
School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
The goal of an infection source node (e.g., a rumor or computer virus source) in a network is to spread its infection to as many nodes as possible, while remaining hidden from the network administrator. On the other hand, the network administrator aims to identify the source node based on knowledge of which nodes have been infected. We model the infection spreading and source identification problem as a strategic game, where the infection source and the network administrator are the two players. As the Jordan center estimator is a minimax source estimator that has been shown to be robust in recent works, we assume that the network administrator utilizes a source estimation strategy that can probe any nodes within a given radius of the Jordan center. Given any estimation strategy, we design a best-response infection strategy for the source. Given any infection strategy, we design a best-response estimation strategy for the network administrator. We derive conditions under which a Nash equilibrium of the strategic game exists. Simulations in both synthetic and real-world networks demonstrate that our proposed infection strategy infects more nodes while maintaining the same safety margin between the true source node and the Jordan center source estimator.
IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
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