Search and rescue in the face of uncertain threats

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We consider a search problem in which one or more targets must be rescued by a search party, or Searcher. The targets may be survivors of some natural disaster, or prisoners held by an adversary. The targets are hidden among a finite set of locations, but when a location is searched, there is a known probability that the search will come to an end, perhaps because the Searcher becomes trapped herself, or is captured by the adversary. If this happens before all the targets have been recovered, then the rescue attempt is deemed a failure. The objective is to find the search that maximizes the probability of recovering all the targets. We present and solve a game theoretic model for this problem, by placing it in a more general framework that encompasses another game previously introduced by the author. We also consider an extension to the game in which the targets are hidden on the vertices of a graph. In the case that there is only one target, we give a solution of the game played on a tree.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1153-1160
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 16 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


  • Game theory
  • Search and rescue
  • Search games
  • Trees


Dive into the research topics of 'Search and rescue in the face of uncertain threats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this