Using Agent-Based Simulations to Evaluate Security Systems
Kay Hamacher and Stefan Katzenbeisser, “Public Security: Simulations Need to Replace Conventional Wisdom,” New Security Paradigms Workshop, 2011.
Abstract: Is more always better? Is conventional wisdom always the right guideline in the development of security policies that have large opportunity costs? Is the evaluation of security measures after their introduction the best way? In the past, these questions were frequently left unasked before the introduction of many public security measures. In this paper we put forward the new paradigm that agent-based simulations are an effective and most likely the only sustainable way for the evaluation of public security measures in a complex environment. As a case-study we provide a critical assessment of the power of Telecommunications Data Retention (TDR), which was introduced in most European countries, despite its huge impact on privacy. Up to now it is unknown whether TDR has any benefits in the identification of terrorist dark nets in the period before an attack. The results of our agent-based simulations suggest, contrary to conventional wisdom, that the current practice of acquiring more data may not necessarily yield higher identification rates.
Both the methodology and the conclusions are interesting.