Joint Coast Guard, USC research team wins operations research award for game apps

Mid Atlantic Coast Guard NewsPORTSMOUTH, Va. – U.S. Coast Guard and University of Southern California researchers were recently awarded the Daniel H. Wagner Prize for a joint paper on Port Resilience Operational/Tactical Enforcement to Combat Terrorism, a game theory for security applications.

PROTECT was developed to help the Coast Guard’s security missions protect and patrol U.S. coasts, ports, and inland waterways from increased risks such as terrorism threats and drug trafficking. This program has been deployed by the Coast Guard in Boston and New York to provide intelligent (game-theoretic) randomization of Coast Guard patrols to protect important targets at the ports.

As part of the National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events research effort, the winning paper, “A Deployed Quantal Response Based Patrol Planning System for the US Coast Guard,” was written by Craig Baldwin, Dr. Joseph DiRenzo, Lt. Cmdr. Ben Maule, and Lt. Garrett Meyer with the Coast Guard, and Milind Tambe, Fernando Ordóñez, Bo An, Eric Shieh and Rong Yang with USC.

“Winning the Wagner prize is both humbling and exciting. Humbling in that our competition includes some of the most brilliant and innovative minds in the world. Exciting in that the prize underscores the power of partnerships between academia and the U.S. Coast Guard,” said DiRenzo, lead for the Coast Guard research team. “The Coast Guard wants to work with our counterparts in academia, especially scholars such as Dr. Tambe and his team, – the PROTECT model highlights two parties working towards a common goal – a more secure Maritime Transportation System”.

The Wagner Prize recognizes research that provides the critical link between the laboratory and the real world. Dr. Wagner focused on strong mathematics applied to practical problems, supported by clear and intelligible writing. The Wagner Prize supports those principles by recognizing strong writing, sound analytical content and verifiable successes during practice.

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