Attacking the V: On the resiliency of adaptive-horizon MPC

Ashish Tiwari, Scott A. Smolka, Lukas Esterle, Anna Lukina, Junxing Yang*, Radu Grosu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


Inspired by the emerging problem of CPS security, we introduce the concept of controller-attacker games. A controller-attacker game is a two-player stochastic game, where the two players, a controller and an attacker, have antagonistic objectives. A controller-attacker game is formulated in terms of a Markov Decision Process (MDP), with the controller and the attacker jointly determining the MDP’s transition probabilities. We also introduce the class of controller-attacker games we call V-formation games, where the goal of the controller is to maneuver the plant (a simple model of flocking dynamics) into a V-formation, and the goal of the attacker is to prevent the controller from doing so. Controllers in V-formation games utilize a new formulation of model-predictive control we have developed called Adaptive-Horizon MPC (AMPC), giving them extraordinary power: we prove that under certain controllability conditions, an AMPC controller can attain V-formation with probability 1. We evaluate AMPC’s performance on V-formation games using statistical model checking. Our experiments demonstrate that (a) as we increase the power of the attacker, the AMPC controller adapts by suitably increasing its horizon, and thus demonstrates resiliency to a variety of attacks; and (b) an intelligent attacker can significantly outperform its naive counterpart.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAutomated Technology for Verification and Analysis - 15th International Symposium, ATVA 2017, Proceedings
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9783319681665
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Sept 2017
Event15th International Conference on Automated Technology for Verification and Analysis, ATVA 2017 - Pune, India
Duration: 3 Oct 20176 Oct 2017

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume10482 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference15th International Conference on Automated Technology for Verification and Analysis, ATVA 2017

Bibliographical note

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017. The final publication is available at Springer via


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