Generalized Colonel Blotto Game

Aidin Ferdowsi, Anibal Sanjab, Walid Saad, Tamer Basar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Competitive resource allocation between adversarial decision makers arises in a wide spectrum of realworld applications such as in communication systems, cyber-physical systems security, as well as financial and political competition. Hence, developing analytical tools to model and analyze competitive resource allocation is crucial for devising optimal allocation strategies and anticipating the potential outcomes of the competition. To this end, the Colonel Blotto game is one of the most popular game-theoretic frameworks for modeling and analyzing such competitive resource allocation problems. However, in many practical competitive situations, the Colonel Blotto game does not admit solutions in deterministic strategies and, hence, one must rely on analytically complex mixed-strategies with their associated tractability, applicability, and practicality challenges. In this regard, in this paper, a generalization of the Colonel Blotto game which enables the derivation of deterministic, practical, and implementable equilibrium strategies is proposed while accounting for scenarios with heterogeneous battlefields. In addition, the proposed generalized game factors in the consumed/destroyed resources in each battlefield, a feature that is not considered in the classical Blotto game. For this generalized game, the existence of a Nash equilibrium in pure strategies is shown. Then, closed-form analytical expressions of the equilibrium strategies are derived and the outcome of the game is characterized, based on the number of each player's resources and each battlefield's valuation. The generated results provide invaluable insights on the outcome of the competition. For example, the results show that, when both players are fully rational, the more resourceful player can achieve a better total payoff at the Nash equilibrium, a result that is not mimicked in the classical Blotto game.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2018 Annual American Control Conference, ACC 2018
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781538654286
StatePublished - Aug 9 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event2018 Annual American Control Conference, ACC 2018 - Milwauke, United States
Duration: Jun 27 2018Jun 29 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Control Conference
ISSN (Print)0743-1619


Other2018 Annual American Control Conference, ACC 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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