A Game-theoretic Queueing Exercise from
“No abstract for you.
In Season 7, episode 6 of the sitcom Seinfeld, people line up to be served by the “SoupNazi” an
d must adhere to his strict disciplinary demands. Failure to comply withthese makes a customer abandon the line.
Due to the soup’s
delicious taste, which
“makes your knees buckle”,
customers nonetheless brave the hardships and seek to beserved. A customer standing outside the store, facing a decision of whether to enteror not, wants to know how likely he is to be served and in what time. We quantify someof these parameters for three standard queueing disciplines. We also analyze twopsychological queueing strategies, from a hawk and dove game perspective, which acustomer may adopt while waiting to attempt to decrease his queue time. Finally weattempt to see if an evolutionary stable strategy amongst these two is possible ornot.
We observed from the episode that customers are served in a First-In-First-Out fashion,and we follow that throughout to highly simplify things. Further, we define the
following rewards and costs associated with the queue from the customer’s
to purchase the soup, if served
at achieving the soup (“Jambalaya!”) if served
arising from standing in a regimented line: $d/min.
“No soup for you!” Dissatisfaction and insult
of being kicked out of therestaurant and from the line: $c if not served, $0 if served.The first two costs can be combined together to a
, $r if served, and $0 else. Weassume customers arrive to the store with an exponential (
) process and are servedby the Soup Nazi with an exponential (µ) process. We take that the Soup Nazi becomesangry at customers with an inter-anger time following an exponential (
)distribution. We attempt to obtain analytical results throughout, but for comparisonpurposes whenever we would provide some numerical result, we take the queueing inputparameters,
1 1 1, ,3 2 5
with all values in minutes
. The motivation for taking
The inspiration for the abstract comes from (Dixit, 2011)