A Sampling Inspection Problem in Arms Control Agreements

A Game-Theoretic Analysis

by Melvin Dresher


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An investigation of sampling for arms-control agreements. A sampling inspection system must consider the possibility that the statistical universe from which samples are to be drawn may be tampered with to decrease the probability of detection of a violation. This memorandum formulates a game-theoretic model for studying a sampling problem in arms control in which the inspector is allowed to examine a fixed number of items or natural events (e.g., items from an assembly line under an agreement limiting military production, or seismic events under a nuclear test-ban agreement). It is assumed that the inspections are to be performed within a fixed time period or on a series of events of fixed length. Optimal sampling procedures are derived as functions of the number of inspections and the size of the statistical universe. Some variations on the model are also studied.

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