A Game-Theoretic Framework for the Security-Aware Sensor Placement Problem in Networked Control Systems

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Journal / PublicationIEEE Transactions on Automatic Control
Online published24 Aug 2021
Publication statusOnline published - 24 Aug 2021


This paper studies the sensor placement problem in a leader-follower networked control system for improving its security against cyber-physical attacks. In a zero-sum game, the attacker selects ƒ  nodes of the network to attack and the detector places ƒ sensors to detect the presence of the attack signals. In our formulation, the attacker's objective is to have a large impact on a target node in the network while being as little visible as possible to the detector. The detector, however, seeks to maximize the visibility of the attack signals. The effects of the attack signals on both the target node and the detector nodes are captured via the system L2 gain from the attack signals to the target node and deployed sensors' outputs, respectively. The equilibrium strategy of the game determines the optimal locations of the sensors. The existence of Nash equilibrium for the case of single-attack-single-sensor is studied when the underlying connectivity graph is a directed or an undirected tree. We show that, under the optimal sensor placement strategy, an undirected topology provides a higher security level for a networked control system compared to its corresponding directed topology. For the case of multiple-attacks-multiple-sensors case, we show that the game does not necessarily admit a Nash equilibrium and introduce a Stackelberg game approach where the detector acts as the leader. Finally, these results are used to study the sensor placement problem in a vehicle platooning application in the presence of bias injection attacks.

Research Area(s)

  • Detectors, Games, Image edge detection, Security, Sensor placement, Symmetric matrices, Topology