Solving Online Threat Screening Games using Constrained Action Space Reinforcement Learning

by   Sanket Shah, et al.

Large-scale screening for potential threats with limited resources and capacity for screening is a problem of interest at airports, seaports, and other ports of entry. Adversaries can observe screening procedures and arrive at a time when there will be gaps in screening due to limited resource capacities. To capture this game between ports and adversaries, this problem has been previously represented as a Stackelberg game, referred to as a Threat Screening Game (TSG). Given the significant complexity associated with solving TSGs and uncertainty in arrivals of customers, existing work has assumed that screenees arrive and are allocated security resources at the beginning of the time window. In practice, screenees such as airport passengers arrive in bursts correlated with flight time and are not bound by fixed time windows. To address this, we propose an online threat screening model in which screening strategy is determined adaptively as a passenger arrives while satisfying a hard bound on acceptable risk of not screening a threat. To solve the online problem with a hard bound on risk, we formulate it as a Reinforcement Learning (RL) problem with constraints on the action space (hard bound on risk). We provide a novel way to efficiently enforce linear inequality constraints on the action output in Deep Reinforcement Learning. We show that our solution allows us to significantly reduce screenee wait time while guaranteeing a bound on risk.


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