A Dynamic Game Framework for Rational and Persistent Robot Deception With an Application to Deceptive Pursuit-Evasion

Linan Huang, Quanyan Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article studies rational and persistent deception among intelligent robots to enhance security and operational efficiency. We present an N-player K-stage game with an asymmetric information structure where each robot's private information is modeled as a random variable or its type. The deception is persistent as each robot's private type remains unknown to other robots for all stages. The deception is rational as robots aim to achieve their deception goals at minimum cost. Each robot forms a dynamic belief of others' types based on intrinsic or extrinsic information. Perfect Bayesian Nash equilibrium (PBNE) is a natural solution concept for dynamic games of incomplete information. Due to its requirements of sequential rationality and belief consistency, PBNE provides a reliable prediction of players' actions, beliefs, and expected cumulative costs over the entire K stages. The contribution of this work is fourfold. First, we identify the PBNE computation as a nonlinear stochastic control problem and characterize the structures of players' actions and costs under PBNE. We further derive a set of extended Riccati equations with cognitive coupling under the linear-quadratic (LQ) setting and extrinsic belief dynamics. Second, we develop a receding-horizon algorithm with low temporal and spatial complexity to compute PBNE under intrinsic belief dynamics. Third, we investigate a deceptive pursuit-evasion game as a case study and use numerical experiments to corroborate the results. Finally, we propose metrics, such as deceivability, reachability, and the price of deception (PoD), to evaluate the strategy design and the system performance under deception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalIEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Bayes methods
  • Couplings
  • Discrete-time Riccati equations
  • Games
  • Probability distribution
  • Robots
  • Task analysis
  • Vehicle dynamics
  • linear-quadratic (LQ) games
  • perfect Bayesian equilibrium
  • pursuit-evasion
  • robot deception.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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