The authors examine a new class of multi-period network interdiction problems, in which interdiction and restructuring decisions are decided upon before a domestic sex trafficking network is operated and implemented throughout the time horizon.
The authors discuss how they apply this new problem to disrupting domestic sex trafficking networks and introduce a variant where a second cooperating attacker has the ability to interdict victims and prevent the recruitment of prospective victims. This problem is modeled as a bilevel mixed integer linear program (BMILP) and is solved using column-and-constraint generation with partial information. They also simplify the BMILP when all interdictions are implemented before the network is operated. Modeling-based augmentations are proposed to significantly improve the solution time in a majority of instances tested. They apply their method to synthetic domestic sex trafficking networks and discuss policy implications from their model. In particular, they show how preventing the recruitment of prospective victims may be as essential to disrupting sex trafficking as interdicting existing participants. (Published abstract provided)
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Article appears in Annals of Operations Research (2022)