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Game-Theoretic and Reliability Methods for Counter-terrorism and Security


A Public Lecture by Professor Vicki Bier

(the slides can be downloaded from here)

Thursday, November 3th 2016 at 14.00-16.00
Room R103/G-111 (PricewaterhouseCoopers-hall, floor 1), Chydenia building, Aalto University School of Business
Runeberginkatu 22-24,  Helsinki


The routine application of reliability and risk analysis by itself is not adequate in the security domain. Protecting against intentional attacks is fundamentally different from protecting against accidents or acts of nature. In particular, an intelligent and adaptable adversary may adopt a different offensive strategy to circumvent or disable protective security measures. Game theory provides a way of taking this into account. Thus, security and counter-terrorism can benefit from a combination of risk analysis and game theory. I will discuss the use of risk and reliability analysis and game theory for defending complex systems against attacks by knowledgeable and adaptable adversaries. The results of such work yield insights into the nature of optimal defensive investments in networked systems to obtain the best trade-off between the cost of the investments and the security of the resulting systems.

The Public Lecture is organized jointly by the Systems Analysis Laboratory research group at the Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis of Aalto University School of Science, and MATINE (Scientific Advisory Board for Defence).


Dr. Bier is a professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she has directed the Center for Human Performance and Risk Analysis (formerly the Center for Human Performance in Complex Systems) since 1995.  She received a Ph.D. in Operations Research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983, and a B.S. in Mathematical Sciences from Stanford University in 1976.  Dr. Bier’s current research interests focus on problems of security and critical infrastructure protection.  Dr. Bier has been a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Committee of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board.  Her areas of expertise are in risk analysis, decision analysis, and operations research (mathematical modeling). 


The Public Lecture is open to all interested participants. If you plan to attend, we kindly request you to send an email to Tuomas Lahtinen (

After the lecture there will be an opportunity for informal discussions while enjoying some refreshments. 

At noon on Friday, November 4th 2016, Prof. Bier will be the official opponent in the public defence of Jussi Kangaspunta's Doctoral Dissertation entitled Resource Allocation Methods for Defence and Infrastructure Systems (Lecture Hall H304, Otakaari 1). You are most welcome to attend this public defence.  

Aalto Systems Forum

The growing challenge of our time is the need to have the ability to see and manage wholes, i.e. systems. The Aalto Systems Forum aims to be a platform of dialogue for practitioners and researchers to share the latest results of the field by top international scholars.

Aalto Systems Forum is organized by the Systems Analysis Laboratory research group at the Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis of Aalto University School of Science. /

To estimate the number of participants, pre-enrollment to course coordinator