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In this paper an N-pursuer vs. M-evader team conflict is studied. The differential game of border defense is addressed and we focus on the game of degree in the region of the state space where the pursuers are able to win. This work extends classical differential game theory to simultaneously address weapon assignments and multi-player pursuit-evasion scenarios. Saddle-point strategies that provide guaranteed performance for each team regardless of the actual strategies implemented by the opponent are devised. The players' optimal strategies require the co-design of cooperative optimal assignments and optimal guidance laws. A representative measure of performance is proposed and the Value function of the game is obtained. It is shown that the Value function is continuous, continuously differentiable, and that it satisfies the Hamilton-Jacobi-Isaacs equation - the curse of dimensionality is overcome and the optimal strategies are obtained. The cases of N=M and N>M are considered. In the latter case, cooperative guidance strategies are also developed in order for the pursuers to exploit their numerical advantage. This work provides a foundation to formally analyze complex and high-dimensional conflicts between teams of N pursuers and M evaders by means of differential game theory.


This is the preprint version of the subscription article, sourced from arxiv:1911.03806 (math.OC).
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IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control