Control of Multilayer Mobile Autonomous Systems in Adversarial Environments: A Games-in-Games Approach

Juntao Chen, Quanyan Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A mobile autonomous system (MAS) becomes pervasive especially in the vehicular and robotic networks. Multiple heterogeneous MAS networks can be integrated together as a multilayer MAS network to offer holistic services. The network connectivity of the multilayer MAS plays an important role in the information exchange between agents within and across different layers of the network. In this article, we establish a games-in-games framework to capture the uncoordinated nature of decision making under adversarial environment at different layers. Specifically, each network operator controls the mobile agents in his own subnetwork and designs a secure strategy to maximize the global network connectivity by considering the behavior of jamming attackers that aim to disconnect the network. The solution concept of metaequilibrium is proposed to characterize the system-of-systems behavior of the autonomous agents. For online implementation of the control, we design a resilient algorithm that improves the network algebraic connectivity iteratively. We show that the designed algorithm converges to a metaequilibrium asymptotically. Finally, we use case studies of a two-layer MAS network to corroborate the security and agile resilience of the network controlled by the proposed strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8943277
Pages (from-to)1056-1068
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Connectivity
  • cybersecurity
  • games-in-games
  • mobile autonomous system (MAS)
  • multilayer networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Control and Optimization


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