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# Chapter

15
CHAPTER OUTLINE
15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 15.7 15.8 15.9 Introduction The Basic Model A Taxonomy of Queuing Models Little’s Flow Equation and Related Results The M/G/1 Queue Model 1: An M/M/s Queue (Hematology Lab) Economic Analysis of Queuing Systems Model 2: A Finite Queue (WATS Lines) Model 3: The Repairperson Model

QUEUING

15.10 Transient Versus Steady-State Results: Order Promising 15.11 The Role of the Exponential Distribution 15.12 Queue Discipline 15.13 Notes on Implementation 15.14 Summary

KEY TERMS SELF-REVIEW EXERCISES PROBLEMS CASE 1: HOW MANY OPERATORS? REFERENCES

CD15-2 C D

C H A P T E R S

APPLICATION OUTLINE

Shortening the New York City Police Department’s Arrest-to-Arraignment Time
The project team mounted an extensive two-year effort. While the lengthy delays in ATA time were the key factor to study, the high costs associated with the current ATA process were an additional item of study. One of the contributors to these high costs was that arresting officers were spending an average of more than 8 hours from the time they departed central booking until they swore out the complaint. Much of this time was overtime and the task itself only required 30 minutes! They were waiting in line for 71\2 hours! The whole process was modeled as a series of stages. Some of the stages were modeled as single-server queues, others as multiple-server queues, and some were even more complex. The statistical distributions and their corresponding parameters for each stage had to be determined. The overall model could then look at various different what-if scenarios involving combinations of workloads and arrest processing policies. The model generated several types of output including average overall ATA time and average times for completing individual stages of the process. The cost of each of the scenarios could also be generated by a companion spreadsheet model. NYC could then choose between several different alternatives, each with its own cost and performance measure. In May 1990, Mayor David Dinkins released the findings of this project at a press conference with his strong endorsement of its recommended changes. The model saved the city over \$10 million per year in police overtime costs alone. The city has reduced the average ATA time delay from 44 hours to about 24 hours citywide. Arrestees gain the right to a speedier trial and are no longer “warehoused” under horrible conditions for longer than absolutely necessary. The city has also greatly reduced its costs for prisoner supervision and transportation by about \$11 million per year. One final recommendation was the elimination of a single arraignment courtroom. This resulted in additional savings of \$9.5 million for the city and state. (See Larson et al.)

In 1988, New York City (NYC)’s arrestees were in custody waiting to be arraigned for an average of 44 hours, occasionally for more than 72 hours. Moreover, they were held in crowded, noisy conditions that were emotionally stressful, unhealthy, and often physically dangerous. In March 1990, the New York Times ran a front-page story on a woman who spent 45 hours in pre-arraignment detention in the Bronx with the headline “Trapped in the Terror of New York’s Holding Pens.” Arrestees were being denied a speedy court appearance and the lengthy delays greatly diminished the efficiency of the justice system. That same year, the NY Supreme Court ruled that the city was to attempt to arraign within 24 hours or release the prisoner. Under these circumstances, NYC undertook the single most ambitious management science project to date in its history with the goal of reducing the arrest-to-arraignment (ATA) time. There were basically four different boroughs (Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens), each with its own idiosyncratic ways of doing things. The basic process included the following basic steps, which comprise a large queuing system: arrest by an officer of NYPD; taken to precinct where prisoner is searched, fingerprinted, and detained while an arrest report is completed; taken to central booking where fingerprints are faxed to state capital for identification and report of criminal history, the arresting officer fills out more paperwork including the sworn complaint with the assistant district attorney, and the arrestee is lodged to await arraignment. In 1988, in these four boroughs alone, over 325,000 arrests were made for which the defendants could be detained awaiting arraignment (i.e., more serious crimes). Unlike many other jurisdictions in the United States, in NYC felonies predominate, many of them involving violence or illicit drugs. Thus, an arrestee might find himself in the same holding cell with violent repeat offenders or defendants in drug episodes.

15.1 INTRODUCTION

Queuing models are everywhere. This fact is obvious even to the most casual observer. Airplanes “queue up” in holding patterns, waiting for a runway so they can land, and then they line up again to take off. People line up for tickets, to buy groceries, and, if they happen to live in England, for almost everything else. Jobs line up for machines, orders line up to be filled, and so on. As you can probably tell, queue is the British term for any type of line for waiting. The Danish engineer A. K. Erlang is credited with founding queuing theory by studying telephone switchboards in Copenhagen for the Danish Telephone Company. He developed many of the queuing results used today. One of the greatest uses of queuing theory in the United States is for analyzing automobile traffic flow—studying how many lanes to have, how to regulate the traffic lights, and so forth—in order to maximize the flow of traffic.

C H A P T E R FIGURE 15.1 General Queuing Models
Arrivals 00000 Service facility

1 5

Queuing CD15-3

Monte Jackson might not subscribe to the notion that all of life is a queue, but as administrative director of St. Luke’s Hospital in Philadelphia, he must deal with a number of situations that can be described as queuing models. Briefly, a queuing model is one in which you have a sequence of items (such as people) arriving at a facility for service, as shown in Figure 15.1. At this moment, Monte is concerned about three particular “queuing models.” Model 1: St. Luke’s Hematology Lab St. Luke’s treats a large number of patients on an outpatient basis; that is, there are many patients who come to the hospital to see the staff doctors for diagnosis and treatment but who are not admitted to the hospital. Outpatients plus those admitted to the 600-bed hospital produce a large flow of new patients each day. Most new patients must visit the hematology laboratory as part of the diagnostic process. Each such patient has to be seen by a technician. The system works like this: After seeing a doctor, the patient arrives at the laboratory and checks in with a clerk. Patients are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis to test rooms as they become available. The technician assigned to that room performs the tests ordered by the doctor. When the testing is complete, the patient goes on to the next step in the process (perhaps X-ray), and the technician sees a new patient. Monte must decide how many technicians to hire. Superficially, at least, the trade-off is obvious. More technicians means more expense for the hospital, but quicker service for the patients. Model 2: Buying WATS Lines As part of its remodeling process, St. Luke’s is designing a new communications system. Monte must decide how many WATS lines the hospital should buy. WATS (Wide Area Telephone Service) is an acronym for a special flat-rate, long-distance service offered by some phone companies. When all the phone lines allocated to WATS are in use, the person dialing out will get a busy signal, indicating that the call can’t be completed. Monte knows that when people pick up the phone, they want to get through without having to try several times. How many lines he needs to achieve that result at a reasonable cost is not so clear. Model 3: Hiring Repairpeople St. Luke’s hires repairpeople to maintain 20 individual pieces of electronic equipment. The equipment includes measuring devices such as the electrocardiogram machine, small dedicated computers like the one used for lung analysis, and equipment such as the CAT scanner. If a piece of equipment fails and all the repairpeople are occupied, it must wait to be repaired. Monte must decide how many repairpeople to hire. He must balance their cost against the cost of having broken equipment. As Table 15.1 indicates, all three of these models fit the general description of a queuing model. Monte will resolve these models by using a combination of analytic and simulation models. However, before we reach the level of sophistication required to deal with Monte’s specific models, it is necessary for us to spend some time with the basic queuing model. In the process we will learn some terminology, and we will see the type of analytic results that are available. Table 15.1 Some Queuing Models
PROBLEM ARRIVALS SERVICE FACILITY

1 2 3

Patients Telephone Calls Broken Equipment

Technicians Switchboard Repairpeople

Thus. These tasks vary from obtaining a copy of a 1-page letter to producing 100 copies of a 25-page report. a fact that bothers people who think that an “average” must have as many values above the mean as below it. Each arrival will be called a “job.05 . quick transactions) and 1\3 of the service times will be above the mean (someone with the cash receipts from his or her business. Assume that users arrive at the machine and form a single line. mean interarrival time = 1 1 = 20 = ␭ 0. The waiting time in the queue: the time between entering the system and the beginning of service. 3. ASSUMPTIONS OF THE BASIC MODEL 1. The number of people in the queue: the number of people waiting for service. The number of people in the system: the number of people currently being served. that is. Arrival Process. The waiting time in the system: the interval between when an individual enters the system and when he or she leaves the system. The words Poisson input are also used to describe the arrival process when the time between arrivals has an exponential distribution.11. For example. About 2\3 of the service times will be below the mean time (a lot of short. if ␭ = 0. In a moment we will consider an example in which ␭ = 0. then approximately 2\3 of them will have interarrival times less than 5 minutes. we say that the mean interarrival time is 20 minutes. how many jobs arrive (on the average) during a specific period of time. This parameter. This system is called a single-server (or single-channel) queue.05. This is because of the relationship between the exponential distribution and the Poisson distribution. is used. it is only necessary to understand that the exponential distribution is completely specified by one parameter.CD15-4 C D C H A P T E R S 15. In particular. every 5 minutes according to an exponential distribution. This distribution plays a central role in many queuing models. This implies that on the average 5\100 of a job arrives every minute. In the basic model a particular distribution. 4. or a person mailing a package overseas). and its so-called lack of memory property makes it possible to obtain analytic results. if the interarrival time has an exponential distribution. At this point. the number of arrivals in a specified length of time (say. called the exponential distribution (sometimes called the negative exponential distribution). as well as those waiting for service. Questions about this or any other queuing system center on four quantities: 1. Using more technical terms.1) Thus. on the average. The exponential distribution is not symmetric. An equivalent statement is that on the average one job arrives every 20 minutes.2 THE BASIC MODEL Consider the Xerox machine located in the fourth-floor secretarial service suite. The exponential distribution and its relationship to the Poisson is discussed in some detail in Section 15. three hours) has a Poisson distribution. It provides a reasonable representation of the arrival process in a number of situations. It is probably more natural to think in terms of a longer time interval. is the mean arrival rate. and only about 1\3 of them longer than 5 minutes (but some of those may be very long and thus “skew” the average). we will need to specify a probability distribution for it. called ␭. postal clerks). for the exponential distribution average time between jobs = mean interarrival time = 1 ␭ (15. Mean interarrival time is the average time between two arrivals. if customers arrive. The exponential distribution describes many services (bank tellers. Note that this interval includes the service time. 2.05 jobs per minute. Each arrival in turn uses the machine to perform a specific task.” Since the time between arrivals (the interarrival time) is not known with certainty.

2 WARNING! The formulas in Table 15. Since 1/␮ = 1/0. the fact that the interarrival time has an exponential distribution means that 1/␭ = 20.10 = 10. In other words. that is. It represents the mean service rate in jobs per minute. There is an infinite population available to arrive. and thus ␮ = 0. This implies that on the average 0. There is no limit on the number of jobs that can wait in the queue. 4. and thus ␭ = 0. When ␮. the mean service rate. Thus.2 hold. Queue Discipline.10. The queue is said to be infinite.2 Operating Characteristics for the Basic Model Utilization CHARACTERISTIC SYMBOL FORMULA — L Lq W Wq P0 ␭/␮ ␭ ␮–␭ ␭2 ␮(␮ – ␭) 1 ␮–␭ ␭ ␮(␮ – ␭) 1 – ␭/␮ Expected Number in System Expected Number in Queue Expected Waiting Time (Includes Service Time) Expected Time in Queue Probability that the System is Empty . 3.25 = 4.10. Time Horizon. for example. An equivalent statement is that on the average one job is completed every 10 minutes. if the average time to complete a job is 10 minutes.25 and ␮ = 0. It seems clear that in this case the service operation will get further behind (the queue will grow longer) as time goes by.10 = 10. The mean. the number of people in the queue will grow without limit. Table 15. service time (the average time to complete a job) is 1/␮. Suppose that the average arrival time between jobs is 20 minutes. Source Population.05. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BASIC MODEL The values of these two parameters (together with the assumptions) are all that is needed to calculate several important operating characteristics of the basic model. Queue Size. We will use 2. or that jobs are completed at the rate of 0. on the average a job arrives every 4 minutes. 6. the average service time is 10 since 1/␮ = 1/0.10 job per minute when the machine is operating. Spreadsheets are ideal for crunching the numerical results from such formulas. As we have seen. if ␭ ≥ ␮). 1/␮ is the average time it takes to complete a job. Consider these assumptions in the context of the Xerox model. or that the jobs arrive at the rate of 0. or average. in the same order as they arrive at the queue. a specific case where ␭ = 0. Jobs are served on a first-come. is 0. in which ␭ < ␮ and the formulas in Table 15.2 hold only if ␭ < ␮. In the upcoming example we will assume that ␮ = 0. The parameter for this exponential distribution is called ␮. the time that it takes to complete a job (the service time) is also treated with the exponential distribution.10. If this condition does not hold (i. we know that 1/␮ = 10.e. The necessary formulas are presented in Table 15. Consider. 5.. since 1/␭ = 1/0. In the basic model.10 of a job is completed each minute.10. Similarly. on the average it takes 10 minutes to complete a job. Now return to the Xerox model. first-served basis. Similarly. ␮T is the number of jobs that would be served (on the average) during a period of T minutes if the machine were busy during that time. The system operates as described continuously over an infinite horizon.05 job per minute.C H A P T E R 1 5 Queuing CD15-5 Service Process. Remember that 1/␭ is the average interarrival time.

XLS) that was originally developed by Professor David Ashley and that already has these formulas entered.M. finiteQ. in a steady state.10. steady state means that the probability that you will observe a certain number of people (say. the probability that there are two people using and/or waiting for the Xerox machine should be the same at 2:30 P. for example.M. MG1. ␭ = 0.CD15-6 C D FIGURE 15.2 C H A P T E R S Introductory Page of Queuing Workbook an Excel spreadsheet (Q. (1) the system is empty with a probability of one-half (cell F7 shows that FIGURE 15. finitePopulation] to be used as indicated by the tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet).3. We also have to tell it that we have only one server (i. Steady-State Results These numbers require some interpretation. If a steady state has been achieved. When you first open the spreadsheet you see the introductory page as shown in Figure 15. Plugging the numerical values from the Xerox model.2 (note that there are four different worksheets [MMs. is the expected number of people in the system (those being served plus those waiting) after the queue has reached steady state. The other characteristics presented in Figure 15. Thus. 2) in the system does not depend on the time at which you count them. and at 4:00 P. L..3 have a similar interpretation.3 Evaluating the Operating Characteristics of the Basic Model . In this sentence. one copy machine) and that our time unit is minutes. into the appropriate cells (E2 and E3) of the appropriate worksheet (“MMs” in this example) yields the results presented in Figure 15.e.05 and ␮ = 0.

as such. or perhaps some other option. 2.5).3 we know that on the average each person spends 20 minutes in the system (W = 20). This would change the system to a two-server queue.3 A TAXONOMY OF QUEUING MODELS There are many possible queuing models. Suppose. . for example. and so on. 1\3 above). Thus. they indicate the arrival or the service distribution. management must balance the cost of providing service against the cost of waiting. may have the same characteristics as the exponential distribution (2\3 of observations below mean. Lq. G. The results in Figure 15.05. or 8 hours. From the calculations in Figure 15. These ideas will be developed in more detail in the context of Monte Jackson’s models. a singleserver queue with exponential interarrival and service times. while 1\3 will spend more than 10 minutes in line. (2) on the average there is 0. A new machine might be purchased with a smaller mean service time. A variety of steps might be taken: 1. and (4) on the average an arrival will spend 20 minutes in the system (cell F11 shows that W = 20). Placed in the A or the B position. if the interarrival time in the basic model had been given a different distribution (not the exponential) we would have had a different model.5). 2\3 of the customers will spend less than 10 minutes in line. They provide information that is useful to management in analyzing this service facility. During each 8-hour day there are 8 × 60 = 480 minutes. would no longer hold. For example. that is.3 and similar results for other systems would be a central part of the analysis. This would change the arrival process. respectively. Using the Results These results hold for the basic model and the particular values for the parameters (␭ = 0. But in any case. 3.05)(480) = 24 arrivals. Kendall proposed a taxonomy based on the following notation: A/B/s where A = arrival distribution B = service distribution s = number of servers Different letters are used to designate certain distributions. is spent at this facility. Management might well feel that this is too long. that the Xerox model is an M/M/1 model. during each day there is on the average a total of (0.05 and ␮ = 0.C H A P T E R 1 5 Queuing CD15-7 P0 = 0. for example. 15.10). To facilitate communication among those working on queuing models. Another machine might be purchased and both machines used to satisfy the demand. The following conventions are in general use: M = exponential distribution D = deterministic number G = any (a general) distribution of service times GI = any (a general) distribution of arrival times We can see. in the sense that the previous formulas for L. Thus. a total of (24 arrivals per day) (20 minutes per arrival) = 480 minutes. Thus. on the average 5\100 of a job arrives each minute.5 person in the queue (cell F8 shows that Lq = 0. Some personnel might be sent to a different and less busy copying facility. (3) on the average an arrival must wait 10 minutes before starting to use the machine (cell F10 shows that Wq = 10). D. Management might select one of these alternatives. Remember that these values are averages and. that management makes the following calculations: Since ␭ = 0.

is sent away.10 – 0. We begin as last time using the second formula in Table 15. to equal ␭W.4) A numerical check for the Xerox model shows that Lq = 0.05 × 10 = ␭Wq which again agrees with the result in Figure 15. a customer may tire of waiting in line (or being on hold) and leave without being served..5]) holds for any queuing model in which a steady state occurs.5) Not only does this hold for the basic model. from Little’s flow equation (15.05 ␭ = =1 ␮ – ␭ 0. this is not the rate at which people join.10 (15. but the general result (equation [15.2 that are specifically for the basic model. Thus.25W will not hold for this system. W.25 (the arrival rate) and the mean time between calls is 4 minutes. (15. This is called reneging.” Consider. In such a system a person who calls and finds the system full simply receives a busy signal—in other words. the number of people in the system is precisely the total number who arrived after he did (i. and Wq once one of them is known. This may be different from the rate at which people actually “arrive. we will use the two general results that we have just presented. let us start the Xerox model all over again. Another important general result depends on the observation that expected waiting time = expected waiting time in queue + expected service time For the basic model we have already made use of the fact that 1 expected service time = ␮ Putting the general result in symbols yields 1 W = Wq + ␮ For the Xerox model we have W = 20 = 10 + 1 1 = Wq + ␮ 0. Equations (15. One must take some care in applying this result in more complicated cases.2) also shows that Lq = ␭Wq (15.05 Now rather than using the other formulas in Table 15.2) we know that L = ␭W .25W will not hold for this system. a queue with an upper limit on the number of items that can wait in the queue (called a finite queue). Therefore. let us measure this quantity when our hero completes being served. Here again. First. Since in this case the average number of people in the system is independent of time.3. the relationship L = 0.4). Assume the system is in steady state. The proof used to establish (15.C H A P T E R 1 5 Queuing CD15-9 vice.2).e. A modern phone system that will hold a certain number of calls (say. It is essential that ␭ represents the rate at which arrivals join the queue. and (15. the individuals who arrived during his waiting time). This is called a balk. we would expect L. Note that it applies to any steadystate queuing process and is thus applicable to a wide variety of models. Thus.2) is often called Little’s flow equation.5 = 0. Lq. for example. At this time. the average number in the system. if W is his waiting time and people arrive at a rate of ␭.2 to calculate L: L= 0. 10) in a queue until a service representative becomes available provides a good example of such a queue.5) make it possible to compute the four operating characteristics L. Equation (15. if ␭ = 0. To illustrate this fact. Similarly. He or she does not join the queue. L = 0.

The average workload in the office is three documents per hour.4 in obtaining all the operating characteristics except for Lq. These values are entered in the input parameters section of the “MMs” spreadsheet (cells E3:E6). (15.10 Finally.5. L. typing any document in exactly 15 minutes.XLS shown in Figures 15.3 Operating Characteristics for the Generalized Model CHARACTERISTIC SYMBOL FORMULA Utilization Expected Number in System Expected Number in Queue Expected Waiting Time Expected Time in Queue Probability that the System is Empty — L Lq W Wq P0 ␭/␮ ␭ Lq + ␮ ␭2␴2 + (␭/␮)2 2(1 – ␭/␮) 1 Wq + ␮ Lq ␭ 1 – ␭/␮ .05 × 10 = 0. It is not even necessary to know the service time distribution.5 This alternative method of obtaining numerical results will turn out to be most useful when analyzing more complicated systems than the basic model. Since Secretary 1 types every document in exactly 15 minutes. Then.5). Table 15. with interarrival times varying according to the exponential distribution. Lq.05. W. it may not fit the service process very well. As ␴2 increases. and Wq all increase. we obtain W = L/␭ = 20. The variance of an exponential distribution is (1/␮)2 if the mean is 1/␮. 15. Note that we have made use of the results of Section 15. ␴2. The operating characteristics for the generalized model are given in Table 15.5 and 15.5 THE M/G/1 QUEUE While the exponential distribution accurately describes the arrival process in many situations. but with times varying according to the exponential distribution.6. there is a generalization of the basic model that permits the distribution of the service time to be arbitrary. Suppose you must hire a secretary. turning to (15. Secretary 1 is very consistent. knowing L = 1 and ␭ = 0. and its variance.3. ␴2 is equal to 0. and you have to select one of two candidates. only its mean. Which secretary will give you shorter average turnaround times on documents? This can be easily solved with the “MG1” and “MMs” worksheets of SECRETRY. we see that 1 W = Wq + ␮ 1 1 Wq = W – ␮ = 20 – = 10 0. 1/␮. Therefore.CD15-10 C D C H A P T E R S Thus. suppose that the arbitrary service time distribution is exponential. with an average of 14 minutes per document. This means that the consistency of a server may be as important as the speed of the server. which automatically incorporates the appropriate values into the “MG1” worksheet. As a check on the validity of these formulas.4) shows that Lq = ␭Wq = 0. Lq = ␭2(1/␮)2 + (␭/␮)2 ␭2 = 2(1 – ␭/␮) ␮(␮ – ␭) which is the same result as in the basic model. Secretary 2 is somewhat faster. The results are shown in Figure 15. Fortunately.05 per minute) and ␮ = 1\15 per minute. The values of the other parameters are ␭ = 3 per hour (or 0.

C H A P T E R FIGURE 15.3) to verify the spreadsheet answer for Secretary 2.05/(1\15)] = 9\8 Wq = (9\8)/0.67 minutes W = 98\3 + 14 = 46.05/(1\14)] = 49\30 = 1. The results are shown in Figure 15.3: Lq = (0.5 Turnaround Time for Secretary 1 1 5 Queuing CD15-11 FIGURE 15.” her average turnaround times are longer because of the high variability of her service times.05 = 98\3 = 32.5 minutes average turnaround time Again.5 minutes W = 45\2 + 15 = 37. ␮ = 1\14 per minute.05.6 Turnaround Time for Secretary 2 We could also verify this manually by using the formulas shown in Table 15.05)2(0) + [0.05 = 45\2 = 22. . we enter the parameters as ␭ = 0. We could also use either the basic model (Table 15.05/(1\14)]2 2[1 – 0.05/(1\15)]2 2[1 – 0. Using the generalized model we get Lq = (0. and ␴ = 14 minutes.67 minutes average turnaround time Even though Secretary 2 is “faster.6.633 minutes Wq = (49\30)/0. using the spreadsheet model for Secretary 2.2) or the generalized model (Table 15.05)2(14)2 + [0.

125). we want to find values L. however. we must use different formulas. We are now in a position to turn our attention to Monte Jackson’s models. the probability that the system is empty. and Wq. etc. This implies that the mean service time is 8 minutes. we will achieve a steady state because 0.6) and Lq.CD15-12 C D C H A P T E R S 15. However.6 MODEL 1: AN M/M/s QUEUE (HEMATOLOGY LAB) Recall that as we started this chapter.25 (= 2 * 0. where s is the number of servers. This implies that a new patient arrives every 5 minutes on the average. For a multiserver queue. as in the typical grocery store.20 < 0. W.20 > 0. a steady state will exist as long as ␭ < s␮. the blood-testing model. The system described in Model 1 of Section 15. is expressed as Lq = P0 (␭/␮) ΄(s – 1)!( s – ␭/␮) ΅ s+1 2 (15.125). This type of system must not be confused with a system in which a queue forms in front of each server. expected waiting time.. and illustrated the characteristics of the systems that we will consider (e.125 Note that if there were only one server.) as well as developed a spreadsheet that can automatically calculate such characteristics. assume that each server is identical and that each service time is given by an exponential distribution with parameter ␮ = 0. since ␭ > ␮(0. In the preceding sections we have laid the groundwork for this process.7. since 1 mean service time for an individual server = ␮ = 1 =8 0. the expected number of people in the queue. We have introduced. since mean interarrival = 1 1 = =5 ␭ 0. We have also made some general results such as Little’s flow equation available for use in future analysis. the queue would grow without limit. The Key Equations As before.125 per minute. Lq. on arriving at the head of the line. our stated goal was to attack three particular models at St. For example. Note that each patient joins a common queue and. To evaluate these formulas it is convenient to start with the expression for P0. For this model P0 = s –1 n=0 ͚ (␭/␮)n n! 1 (␭/␮)s 1 + s! 1 – (␭/s␮) ΂ ΃ (15. is illustrated in Figure 15. since this is a multiserver queue (not a single-sever queue as in the Xerox model).20 per minute.g.7) FIGURE 15. Luke’s Hospital with queuing models. enters the first examining room that becomes available.20 Also.7 Multiserver Queue Arrivals Server 1 000 Server 2 Server n .1. expected number in queue. Assume that the interarrival time is given by an exponential distribution with parameter ␭ = 0. if we have two servers. defined.

2).9 Results for Hematology Lab with 3 Servers . Again. these new formulas are already entered in the “MMs” worksheet of our queuing template in our workbook (HEMATLGY. Lastly.22 minutes (cell F10) before entering an examining room. These results are shown in Figures 15. and (15.4).8 (cell F6) and the probability that the system is empty is 0. FIGURE 15. These two values can be used in equation (15. We see that the utilization (␭/s␮) = 0.C H A P T E R FIGURE 15.5) make it possible to calculate values for Wq.7) to find Lq = 2.8 Results for Hematology Lab with 2 Servers 1 5 Queuing CD15-13 Equations (15. On the average.20. since s = 2.84 (cell F8). a patient waits for 14.22 minutes (cell F11).11 (cell F7). Example Calculations Assume.4). on the average. a patient spends 22. Lq = ␭Wq. Using equation (15.125.6) and (15. waiting for a technician and having tests. and L for any specified parameter values (␮ and ␭) and any number of servers (value of s). then. we see that.7) and the general results in (15. that Monte decided to hire two technicians.10 respectively.9 and 15. Then.10 minutes in the hematology area. for example.XLS and get the following results shown in Figure 15.XLS). W. Monte now wants to check what happens if he adds a third or fourth technician (server). we can put these values into the “MMs” worksheet of HEMATLGY. ␭ = 0. (15.8. That is. and ␮ = 0. the template uses the general observation that expected waiting time = expected waiting time in queue + expected service time to calculate that the expected waiting time (W) = 22. the expected number of people in the queue is somewhat less than 3.

15. and the actual time in the queue will vary). for example. There is no place else to go! Besides the possible effect on demand. We note that this example model is identical to the models that are faced by fast-food franchise managers: how many people to put on a shift to keep the average customer wait below a certain value. The cost of hiring additional technicians is fairly clear.10 that the utilization drops from 80% to 53.3% to 40%. the supervisors of the hematology laboratory can temporarily move one of the blood analysts to a technician’s position. Adding a fourth server doesn’t make such a dramatic difference. The waiting cost is not. which could lead to boredom and sloppy work. since ␭ > ␮. It really does not matter who is waiting—a consultant who charges \$250 per hour for his services or an unemployed person with no opportunity cost—unless the waiting time persuades the patient to use another health facility.CD15-14 C D C H A P T E R S FIGURE 15. With one technician. Luke’s. Monte thus feels comfortable with the idea of hiring two full-time technicians without performing a detailed cost analysis. in some cases the queue gets uncomfortably long with two servers (remember that Wq is an expected value. Obviously by adding more servers. the average waiting time in the queue is less than 15 minutes.10 Results for Hematology Lab with 4 Servers There is a dramatic shortening of waiting time (Wq) with a third server (down to 1. This could be considered irresponsible. Monte realizes that he is balancing the cost of hiring more technicians against the costs he incurs by forcing the patients to wait. as it reduces waiting time in the queue to 0. By current hospital standards. This is not an unusual approach in queuing models and is especially common in the not-for-profit sector. Monte first notes that the cost to the patient is irrelevant to his decision. this is a small and acceptable value. Monte can reduce the average waiting time but at significant expense to St. The more servers added. but at the cost of having an extra server. the hematology lab could cost the hospital money if it reduced the output of the hospital. These calculations provide lots of information to help Monte make his decision. the system is unstable and the queue will steadily grow.8 to 15. except as it affects the patient’s willingness to use the hospital. Another factor to take into account is how busy the servers would be in each scenario. McDonalds reportedly figures it will lose a customer if the total wait is more than five minutes.30 minutes. Suppose. We see in Figures 15. If. With two technicians. This observation explains why certain monopolies like government agencies and utilities can be so casual about your waiting time. the higher the percentage of idle time for the technicians.57 minutes).7 ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF QUEUING SYSTEMS Monte selected the number of lab technicians to hire by looking at the operating characteristics and using his judgment. that the outpatient .

you can build expected cost models of queuing systems. 3. and suppose the manager is willing to specify two costs: Cs = cost per hour of having a server available Cw = cost per hour of having a person wait in the system (a very “fuzzy” or qualitative cost) With these it is possible to calculate the total costs associated with the decision to use any particular number of servers. the number of servers. the waiting cost will decrease and the server cost will increase. then L2 times 8 is the average number of waiting “hours” per day. to minimize this function.11 shows the worksheet Monte created called “Econ. Cost Parameters If you are willing and able to estimate certain costs. and waiting cost = (Cw)(L2)(8) where L2 is the number of people in the queue when there are 2 servers. we would take (Cs)(4)(6) + (Cw)(L4)(6) or [(Cs)(4) + (Cw)(L4)]6 The term in square brackets. 2 is the number of servers. the doctors and other staff in the clinics. Analysis” in his HEMATLGY. However. then. The Total Cost per Hour We now define TC(s) = total cost per hour of using s servers and we see that TC(s) = (Cs)(s) + (Cw)(Ls) Our goal is to choose s. The idea is to find that value of s that minimizes the sum of these two costs. Figure 15. it still is not easy to assess an explicit cost of a patient waiting. but the rationale is the same as for the server cost. There are two components: server cost = (Cs)(2)(8) where Cs is the cost per hour for one server. If there are. where we can find the optimal order quantity. This second calculation may not be as obvious.) In this example. is the total cost per hour of using 4 servers.) In this case. Q*. (This is clearly an extreme example to establish a point. the hospital would be wasting a valuable resource. Let us start by calculating the total cost of hiring 2 servers for an 8-hour day. Consider. We’ll assume we want to com- . and 4 servers. for example. with the equation Q* = ͙2DC0 /Ch. having stated this. We can see that as s increases. We establish Cs = \$50/server/hour and Cw = \$100/customer/hour (see cells B1 and B2). as in Chapter 7. because of a bottleneck in the hematology lab. Hence. but that the hematology lab could handle only 10 patients. L2 people waiting when the system has 2 servers.C H A P T E R 1 5 Queuing CD15-15 clinics could process 50 new patients each day. let’s put a relatively large cost on waiting and see if the decision changes from Monte’s original decision of choosing two servers. the hematology lab model (in general terms any multiserver queue with exponential interarrival and service times). [(Cs)(4) + (Cw)(L4)]. Unfortunately it is not possible to derive a formula that gives the optimal value of s. If we wanted to calculate the total cost of using 4 servers for a 6-hour day. on the average.XLS workbook to determine the optimal value of s. and 8 is the number of hours each server works. (Cw)(L2)(8) is the average waiting cost for the 8-hour day. (This is in contrast to the EOQ model. and then we can calculate the server cost and waiting cost for 2.

or 4 Servers Cell C6 D6 E6 Formula ϭ\$B\$1*A6*\$E\$1 ϭ\$B\$2*B6*\$E\$1 ϭSUM(C6:D6) Copy To C7:C8 D7:D8 E7:E8 pare the cost over an 8-hour shift (cell E1). and we must enter in cells B6:B8 the values for L (expected number in system) for each value of s we want to explore (obtained from Figures 15.8 to 15. Enter the Column Input Cell as B2. and then “Series.” 3. Highlight the range A10:D20. respectively. total cost with 4 servers) in cells B10:D10. It does look as though 4 servers will become the optimal decision for values of Cw ≥ \$200. Click on OK.730 (cell E7). 2. total cost with 3 servers. We can see that 2 servers is optimal for Cw = 0. he highlighted the range A11:D20. while 3 servers is optimal from Cw = \$20 up to \$180. Click back on cell A11. 4. Lq. Sensitivity analysis is also important to perform.12. Click on OK. Monte wants to graph the results of this sensitivity analysis to look for patterns and trends. This decision might be made on intuitive grounds or on the basis of an explicit economic analysis. 5. We can see that 3 servers minimizes the Total Cost at \$2. Enter the initial value of 0 in cell A11. 7. and click on Data. Next Monte creates a data table to determine the sensitivity of this decision to the “fuzzy” cost. =E7. . and Wq. then choose Edit. Finally.” enter a step value of 20 and a terminal value of 180. Enter the formulas for the quantities we want to track (total cost with 2 servers.” 6. and then followed the steps to generate the graph shown in Figure 15.CD15-16 C D C H A P T E R S FIGURE 15. Cw . and =E8. We now move on to Monte’s second model. 3.10). He decides he wants to explore values for Cw from 0 to \$180. Fill. Let us complete our examination of the hematology lab model with these observations: We have seen how to find values for L.11. then “Table. Excel automatically fills in the table as shown in cells A10:D20 of Figure 15. especially on harder-to-quantify parameters like Cw. clicked on the Chart Wizard. These values were then used to select the appropriate number of technicians (servers). These formulas are =E6. To do this. Click on “Series in Columns. W. The steps for Monte to do this in his spreadsheet are: 1.11 Economic Analysis for Hematology Lab with 2.

More sophisticated systems now provide for queuing of a finite number of customers. the value Pj defined by (15. the next caller will not be able to place a call. Here ␭/␮ = 10. will be used to calculate the steady-state probability that all s lines are busy. The problem of how many lines are needed by a switchboard was typically attacked by using the M/G/s model. which in this case is the length of each call. Clearly. It is noteworthy that although we are considering a general service-time distribution.8) (␭/␮)k/k! where ␭ = arrival rate (the rate at which calls arrive) 1 ␮ = mean service time (the average length of a conversation) s = number of servers (lines) The expression is called the truncated Poisson distribution or the Erlang loss distribution. Suppose that we have . This. he or she does not get in a queue but simply leaves. “with blocked customers cleared. Monte’s attempt to select the appropriate number of WATS lines for St. The phrase “blocked customers cleared” is queuing jargon. in this case he can expect help from the telephone company. exponential interarrival times for the calls. Fortunately.12 Graph of Sensitivity Analysis on Cost of Waiting for Hematology Lab 1 5 Queuing CD15-17 15. in turn.C H A P T E R FIGURE 15. It means that when an arrival finds all of the servers occupied (all of the lines busy). if you have s lines and they are all busy. It has a great deal of expertise in such matters. This phrase clearly describes the behavior of the traditional telephone switchboard.8) depends only on the mean of this distribution. Consider a system in which ␭ = 1 (calls arrive at the rate of 1 per minute) and 1/␮ = 10 (the average length of a conversation is 10 minutes). since queuing models have found extensive use in the field of telephone traffic engineering. The steady-state probability that there are exactly j busy servers given that s lines (servers) are available is given by the expression Pj = (␭/␮)j/j ! k=0 ͚ s (15. Luke’s. in some cases even providing the lucky customer the opportunity to enjoy a Muzak version of Elton John’s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” or the “Macarena.8 MODEL 2: A FINITE QUEUE (WATS LINES) Do not be misled by the title of this section. and a general distribution for the service time. It is devoted to Model 2.” You already know that this model is a multichannel queue with s servers (s lines).” Probability of j Busy Servers The problem of selecting the appropriate number of lines (servers) is attacked by computing the steady-state probability that exactly j lines will be busy.

CD15-18 C D C H A P T E R S five lines in the system (s = 5) and want to find the steady-state probability that exactly two are busy ( j = 2).034)(10)/3 = 0.564 or on the average the system is totally occupied 56.33 50 = 0.034 1477.4% of the time.14 shows such a data table that Monte built for examining the possibility of between 0 and 10 phone lines. we simply set j = s (in our example s = 5) and we obtain P5 = P4(10)/5 = (0.67 + 416. Enter the initial value of 0 in cell A23. We can see that the probability that a customer balks with 5 servers is much more easily calculated in a spreadsheet. 2. . then choose Edit. we get the same value (0. To find the answer to this question. on the average.2833 Each successive Pi–1 is multiplied by (␭/␮) and divided by i to achieve the new Pi . Of course.13. for example once we know P2. Fill. We can then build a data table to determine this value for several different values of s. it is easy enough to implement all these formulas in a spreadsheet. Click on “Series in Columns.” enter a step value of 1 and a terminal value of 10. The more interesting question is: “What is the probability that all of the lines are busy?” since in this case a potential caller would not be able to place a call on the WATS lines.1133 Likewise. From (15.4% of the time.564 in cell F13). Click on OK. The steps for Monte to do this in the spreadsheet are: 1.8) we see that P2 = (␭/␮)2/2! k=0 ͚ (␭/␮)k/k! 101/1 + 102/(2 ⋅ 1) + 103/(3 (10)2/(2 ⋅ 1) ⋅ 2 ⋅ 1) + 104/(4 ⋅ 3 ⋅ 2 ⋅ 1) + 105/(5 ⋅ 4 ⋅ 3 ⋅ 2 ⋅ 1) 5 = = = 1+ 50 1 + 10 + 50 + 166.XLS. we can calculate P3 as: P3 = P2(10)/3 = (0.1133)(10)/4 = 0. Again. two lines would be busy 3. P4 is found as P4 = P3(10)/4 = (0.67 In other words. The probability that the system is totally occupied (all servers are busy) is calculated in a new worksheet called “finiteQ” in the workbook WATS. as shown in Figure 15.2833)(10)/5 = 0. Click back on cell A23. An alternative way of obtaining Pj that is easy to implement in a spreadsheet (because of its sequential formulation) is as follows: Pi = Pi–1(␭/␮)/i So. Figure 15.67 + 833.” 3. and then “Series.

85 . Next we can create column D that calculates the marginal improvement in this probability as we add servers. Enter the Column Input Cell as E4.14. 5. This quantity is called the carried load in queuing jargon. That a Customer Will Balk] ΂΃ (15.059. Thus.9) that N = 10(1 – 0. Excel automatically fills in the table as shown in Figure 15. If we define N as the average number of busy servers. if he purchases 10 lines.089. Enter the formulas for the quantity we want to track (probability that a customer balks) in cell C22.215 (cell C33).215) = 7. It follows from (15. and click on Data. adding a second line when there was one in service decreases the probability of the system being busy by 0. then ␭ N = ␮ [1 – Prob.” 6.9) Assume now that in Monte’s model with WATS lines for St. Luke’s. whereas adding the tenth line when there were already nine in service decreases this probability by 0. This is also shown in Figure 15. Average Number of Busy Servers Another interesting and useful quantity in the design of phone installations is the average number of busy lines. Click on OK. The formula is =F13. we see in Figure 15. Here it is clear that the marginal effect of adding more servers decreases.14.C H A P T E R FIGURE 15.14 that the probability that all 10 are busy =0. ␭ = 1 and 1/␮ = 10. For example.14 Data Table for Probability that Customer Balks for Different Values of s 4. Highlight the range B22: C33.13 Finite Queue Spreadsheet Calculation of Probability that Customer Balks 1 5 Queuing CD15-19 FIGURE 15. then “Table.

like the repairperson model. There are.11]) in the N + 1 variables of interest (P0. for the situation at St. in which only a finite number of “people” are eligible to join the queue is said to have a finite calling population. however. This model is an M/M/2 model with a maximum of 18 items in the queue (20 including the 2 in service) and a finite calling population. One can see that each model becomes a bit more complex than the previous one. the probability of finding the system busy is in a region (70% to 80%) that he feels is appropriate for the hospital. on the other hand.. Similarly. P1. In this model there is a limited number of items (20) that can join the queue.e. first-served basis.6. 15. based on a subjective balancing of the number of lines and the probability of finding the system busy. .85/10 = 78. the server utilization is 7.50).10] and 1 from equation [15. Thus. If the values for Pn are . and N (the number of machines). 1/␮ = 0. the time between breakdowns has an exponential distribution with parameter ␭ = 0. but. Pn = Pn = N! (␭/␮)nP0 for 0 ≤ n ≤ s n!(N – n)! N! (␭/␮)nP0 for s < n ≤ N (N – n)!s!sn–s (15. the server utilization can be calculated by dividing N by s (the number of servers). A single repairperson treats each broken machine. almost 8 lines will be busy. If he is uncomfortable with this solution. .25 per hour. and is willing to specify a cost for each time a caller finds the system busy. the average time between breakdowns is 1/␭ = 4 hours.5% of the time and idle 21. Repairpersons deal with machines on a first-come (perhaps firstfailed is more accurate). After N has been calculated. Pn).50 hour (i. he can select the number of lines to minimize the expected cost per hour. In particular.10) We also know that ͚ Pn = 1 n=0 N (15. .9 MODEL 3: THE REPAIRPERSON MODEL In this model Monte must decide how many repairpersons to hire to maintain 20 pieces of electronic equipment. Consider the model with 20 machines and 2 repairpersons. Assume that when a machine is running. no simple expressions (even by these standards) for the expected number of jobs (broken machines) in the system or for waiting. that is. This is another M/M/s model. the entire system will be busy with probability 0. assume that the time it takes to repair a machine has an exponential distribution and that the mean repair time is 0. ␮.215 or about one fifth of the time and.5% of the time. which means that each server (on average) is busy 78.7. In this case the general equations for the steady-state probability that there are n jobs in the system is a function of ␭. whereas in the hematology lab model an unlimited number could potentially join the queue. Luke’s.6 and 15. . A queuing model.11) We thus have N + 1 linear equations (N from equation [15. Models with an unlimited number of possible participants are said to have an infinite calling population. s (the number of repairpersons).5%. He would proceed in the same manner as in the M/M/s system of Sections 15. Monte feels that ten lines is a reasonable compromise. on the average. .CD15-20 C D C H A P T E R S In other words. and that the formulas of Pn become more complex. There does not seem to be a great deal of excess capacity. This makes it possible (if painful) to calculate values of Pn for any particular model. You can thus think of the failed machines as forming a queue in front of multiple servers (the repairpersons). but it differs in a fundamental way from the M/M/s system (the blood-testing model) considered in Section 15.

it will complete processing at Work Station 2.16.5 days if every unit takes exactly 4 hours at every work station. The last unit must wait at Work Station 1 for the first 19 units to be completed. The average time to process a unit at each work station is 4 hours. he estimates that the last unit in the batch of 20 will leave Work Station 1 after 20 × 4 = 80 hours. Larry assumes that raw material is always available at Work Station 1 (WS1) so that the next unit at Work Station 1 can start as soon as the current unit is finished. Each work station is available for 8 hours every working day. First. then it must be processed at Work Station 1 and then at Work Station 2. Larry feels that the exponential distribution is an appropriate distribution for processing times because the 4-hour figure was arrived at by averaging many processing times that were less than 4 hours with a few processing times that were significantly longer than 4 hours (see Section 15. The finish time in days is shown in cell F2 and is calculated by dividing the stop time at Work Station 2 of the last unit by the number of hours/day (8 in cell F1). he chooses the exponential distribution from the gallery. Larry decides to set up a spreadsheet (ORDER. for example. To analyze the impact of processing time variability. this analysis is somewhat simplistic. and there is sufficient buffer capacity between the work stations so that the queue size is for all practical purposes infinite. He approximates the time it takes to process 20 units as follows. Larry decides to apply the basic model anyway and use it as an approximation. he enters =RiskExpon(\$B\$1) ).5 days to process the order. Next Larry checks to see whether the assumptions of the basic queuing model are met. W is given by the formula 1/(␮ – ␭). This means that for Work Station 1 the start time of a unit is the stop time of the previous unit.CD15-22 C D C H A P T E R S work stations. which samples from an exponential distribution with a mean of 4. These few long processing times were due to equipment failures at a work station while processing a unit. Larry initially estimates that it will take 10. This makes the finish time a random variable. . the formula in cell B8 of the spreadsheet is =C7. However. Thus. In the basic model. the assumption of an infinite time horizon is not met.E7). The units are processed on a first-come. first-served basis at Work Station 2. in @RISK. at which time all 20 units will have been completed. The stop time of a unit is just the start time plus the processing time. the formula in cell D8 is =MAX(C8. Larry’s estimate is 20 × 4 + W. So.5 days However. The start time of a unit at Work Station 2 is either the stop time of that unit on Work Station 1 or the stop time of the previous unit on Work Station 2. The spreadsheet calculates this time to be 10. and the time between arrivals is exponential because the processing time at Work Station 1 is exponential. Larry is interested only in the behavior of the system until “customer” 20 ends its processing. Larry calculates as follows: (19 units × 4 hours/unit + 4 hours + 4 hours) ÷ 8 hours/day = 10. Larry would like to know the 99th percentile of this random variable (the number that 99% of the time the random variable will be less than or equal to). Assuming that it does not have to wait when it gets to Work Station 2. Larry replaces the constant processing time of 4 at WS1 in his spreadsheet with the appropriate random distribution (in Crystal Ball. The service time at Work Station 2 is exponential because it is the same as the processing time. For example. By considering when the last of the 20 units will be completed. The total time that the last unit spends at Work Station 2 is W.11). Larry now realizes his dilemma: ␮ and ␭ are equal (1 unit per 4 hours) and the formula is valid only when ␮ is greater than ␭. It ignores the variability of the processing times and the possibility of queuing at Work Station 2. His spreadsheet is shown in Figure 15. He could then promise the order in that number of days and be 99% sure that it would actually be completed on time. Then this unit will wait in the queue in front of Work Station 2.XLS) to stimulate the flow of the 20 units through the 2 work stations. The output from Work Station 1 are the arrivals to Work Station 2. whichever is larger. Finally.

17) is 15. 2 days longer than Larry’s initial calculation. it is a simple matter to find any percentile of any random variable in the spreadsheet.C H A P T E R FIGURE 15.17 Statistical Output for Order Completion Model .52 days. E7) ϭE26/F1 Copy To C8:C26 — E8:E26 B9:B26 D9:D26 — Using Crystal Ball or @RISK.17 shows the 99th percentile for cell F2 (the finish time in days) based on 1000 iterations (1000 sets of 40 random processing times—20 for Work Station 1. 20 for Work Station 2). Figure 15. note that the expected finish time (“Mean” for cell F2 in Figure 15.16 Order Promising Spreadsheet 1 5 Queuing CD15-23 Cell C7 D7 E7 B8 D8 F2 Formula ϭ\$B\$1 + B7 ϭC7 ϭD7+\$B\$2 ϭC7 ϭMAX(C8. The extra FIGURE 15. First.

If Larry wants to be 99% sure of having the order completed by the time he promises. however. . Lack of memory : In an arrival process this property implies that the probability that an arrival will occur in the next few minutes is not influenced by when the last arrival occurred. There are essentially no analytic results for queuing situations that do not involve the exponential distribution either as the distribution of interarrival times or service times or both. some general considerations that are useful in helping a manager think about the use of queuing models.28 less 10. It is easy to see why the assumption of exponential arrivals fits the telephone system so well. Even though the basic model was not applicable in this case. it helped Larry to think about the model and to understand this answer from his spreadsheet simulation. that is.11 THE ROLE OF THE EXPONENTIAL DISTRIBUTION There is an enormous body of literature concerning queuing systems. he should set the due date to be 18. One such consideration is the role of the exponential distribution in analytic queuing models. Figure 15.5 days up to 21 days. This fact makes it important for a manager to recognize the set of circumstances in which it is reasonable to assume that an exponential distribution will occur.18 shows the histogram of the finish time.17) after the material becomes available at Work Station 1. This situation arises when (1) there are many individuals who could potentially arrive at the system. The queuing that takes place at Work Station 2 has increased the lead time (time from the start of the order to its completion) by nearly 8 days (18.5) over what it would be if there were no variability in the processing times. the system has no memory of what has just happened.28 days (“Target #1(Value)=” in Figure 15. and it is virtually impossible for a manager to be aware of all the results.18 Histogram of Finish Times for Order Completion Model 2 days is the average queuing delay caused by the variability of the processing times. The following three properties of the exponential distribution help to identify it: 1. There are. (2) each person decides to arrive independently of the other individuals. Problem 15-29 explores a slightly different situation in which the basic model can be used to estimate the average finish time and the 99th percentile.CD15-24 C D C H A P T E R S FIGURE 15. 15. and we can see that the time can vary from 6. and (3) each individual selects his or her time of arrival completely at random.

0. the probability that S ≤ t is 0. This is certainly an appropriate . The practical implication of this fact is that an exponential distribution can best be used to model the distribution of service times in a system in which a large proportion of “jobs” take a very short time and only a few “jobs” run for a long time.632 t 10 20 30 40 2. In particular. It also has an important practical implication. first-out”). 2. If it is 1\3 or less of the mean. This can be seen in Figure 15. small values of the service time are common. firstserved basis (often called FIFO. Then.C H A P T E R FIGURE 15. n = 0.0 1 5 Queuing CD15-25 0. and the number of servers to define a queuing system.. For example. n) is given by the equation Prob{X = n} = e–␭T(␭T)n n! 15. Small service times : With an exponential distribution.2) we noted the relationship between the exponential and Poisson distributions. 3. This indicates a high probability of having a short service time. Note that the graph rises rapidly and then slowly approaches the value 1. and so on). If it is. for “first-in. if X is the number of arrivals during the time T. that is ␮ = 0. Relation to the Poisson distribution: While introducing the basic model (Section 15. Queue discipline is still another characteristic that must be specified in order to define a queuing system. T) the number of arrivals will have a Poisson distribution with parameter ␭T.1 and 1/␮ = 10. then in a specified period of time (say . then most likely the numbers are exponentially distributed. In all of the models that we have considered so far. the manager is able to see if his or her choices of a model and parameter values for the arrival process are reasonable. This compares to a normal distribution where only 50% of the service times are smaller than the average. The relationship between the exponential and the Poisson distributions plays an important role in the theoretical development of queuing theory. while social scientists think that the whole world is normally distributed.632. In the previous sections we specified the arrival distribution. In other words.19 A High Probability of Short Service Times Prob S ഛ t 1. A quick and dirty way to check what kind of distribution you have is to see if the average of the data is close to its standard deviation. the service distribution. it is probably normally distributed. more than 63% of the service times are smaller than the average service time. the probability that X equals a specific number (say.19. By comparing the number of jobs that arrive for service during a specific period of time with the number that the Poisson distribution suggests. It is said that engineers think that the whole world is exponentially distributed.e. we have assumed that arrivals were served on a first-come.12 QUEUE DISCIPLINE This equation holds for any nonnegative integer value of n (i. when t = 10. 1. This figure shows the graph of the probability that the service time S is less than or equal to t (Prob {S ≤ t}) if the mean service time is 10. if the time between arrivals has an exponential distribution with parameter ␭.

which is left to more advanced courses. it seems like a good idea to do it first. This is not necessarily the case for other systems. And in the repairperson model. an M/M/s system with a finite calling population. W. Little’s flow equation.CD15-26 C D C H A P T E R S assumption for telephone systems and for many systems where people are the arrivals. In an elevator the last person in is often the first out (LIFO).8 and 15. was presented in Section 15. Some new formulas were presented. Discrete event dynamic simulation (DEDS) is a popular approach for studying queuing models that do not fit the analytic mold. Adding the possibility of selecting a good queue discipline makes the queuing models more complicated.9 continued the consideration of multiserver queues. L. in which customers who arrive and find all the servers occupied do not wait. expected number in queue.5 generalized the basic model to allow for an arbitrary service time distribution. or both have an exponential distribution. it is reasonable to assume that the arrival process is a Poisson process. but simply leave. there is really no reason to fix the machines in the same order as they break down. Section 15. This chapter provided an introduction to the subject of queuing. rather than making it wait until a 1-hour job on a machine that broke down earlier is completed. and expected time in queue. This model is particularly useful in the design of telephone systems.4. = ␭W. Lq. current programs such as Arena (by Systems Modeling). If a certain machine can be returned to production in 5 minutes. L. It pointed out that many interesting models can be cast in the arrival/service mode of a queuing model. This topic is now covered in detail in Chapter 10. In particular.4 to compute numerical results in an Excel spreadsheet for a staffing model in a hematology lab. A specific example of this type was presented.13 NOTES ON IMPLEMENTATION The models discussed in this chapter are useful representatives of only a small portion of the broad expanse of queuing models. Communication networks (especially the telephone system) and traffic control systems are two important examples of such systems. Extend. Section 15.3 briefly introduced a system of notation for describing queuing systems. we have noted that a large (essentially infinite) calling population in which individual members of the population decide at random to arrive at service facilities generates an exponential distribution for the time between arrivals. These formulas were combined with results from Section 15.7 was devoted to an economic analysis of the staffing model in the hematology lab.14 SUMMARY were offered as alternative means for computing queue characteristics. It is not surprising. Section 15. Models of this sort are often referred to as scheduling models.6 considered a multiserver queue. however. that the analytic models are often used on systems with this type of arrival mechanism.2 was devoted to the basic model. then. a single-channel queue with exponential interarrival times and service times.8 was devoted to an M/G/s system. the service time. They are important because they yield tight analytic results and because. A numerical example was presented. Section 15.9 considered the repairperson model. expected waiting time. and there is an extensive literature that deals with them. The results presented here in general require that either the time between arrivals. It also illustrates the use of spreadsheets in obtaining numerical results for a particular model. and Alpha/SIM have been created to facilitate the simulation process. . Wq—were defined. 15. in many circumstances. Formulas were presented for these characteristics as a function of the parameters of the arrival and service processes. Sections 15. Four system characteristics—expected number in system. Section 15. Section 15. This equation plus the general fact that W = Wq + expected service time 15. Indeed. Section 15.

provide models that help the manager to trade off the cost of service c. A synonym for server in queuing jargon (e. 3. 9. Typically a random quantity. T F Little’s flow equation states a directly proportional relationship between expected waiting time and expected number of people in the system. optimize system characteristics . first-served 11.. the discipline is first-come.12 briefly considered the topic of queue discipline. 6.g. Section 15. Quantities such as the expected number in queue that describe the operation of the queuing system. Channel. Reneging. Section 15. T F The notation G/M/2 means the service distribution is general. exponentially distributed arrivals b. Typically a random quantity. 2. a factor in determining the arrival process. an empty queue) does not depend on the time at which you look. unlimited queue size e. A characteristic of the exponential distribution that makes it possible to derive analytic results for many queuing models. and the mean service time is the reciprocal of the mean service rate. Reneging occurs when a customer leaves a system without being served. exponentially distributed service times c. and there are two parallel servers. T F The mean interarrival time is the reciprocal of the mean arrival rate.C H A P T E R 1 5 Queuing CD15-27 Section 15. T F The basic model is M/M/1. 7. Queue Size. T F As the number of servers increases the cost of waiting generally increases. The amount of time that it takes an item to pass through the service facility. Steady State. A balk occurs when a customer arrives at a finite queue that is fully occupied. First-come. T F The exponential distribution is a two-parameter distribution that is defined by a mean and a standard deviation. 8. Balk. A major goal of queuing is to a. T F The waiting time includes the service time. Self-Review Exercises True-False 1. Calling Population. finite time horizon d. 5.g. That part of a queuing model that determines the arrival pattern. It also presented two characteristics of the exponential distribution: the lack of memory property and the high probability of small values. minimize the cost of providing service b. a single-channel queue is a queue with a single server).. Queue Discipline. Operating Characteristics. Service Time. Arrival Process. maximize expected return d. A model that involves waiting in line. Which of the following does not apply to the basic model? a. The amount of time between two consecutive arrivals at a service facility. That part of a queuing model that determines the service time for each item. The limit on the number of items that are permitted to wait in line for service. T F The number of people in the system means the number waiting in line. Interarrival Time. Service Process. Multiple Choice 10. A queue with an upper limit on the number of items that can wait in the queue. Key Terms Queuing Model.10 showed how a spreadsheet simulation can be used to explore the transient rather than the steady-state behavior of a system. The rule used by the service facility to determine which items to serve. 4. the arrival distribution is exponential. first-served is a typical example. Lack of Memory. The number of items that might call on the system for service: thus. A condition in which the probability of viewing a certain situation (e. Finite Queue. T F The assumption that the mean service rate is less than the mean arrival rate is enough to eliminate the formation of infinitely long queues.11 described the importance of the exponential distribution in the analytic analysis of queuing systems.

In a multiserver system with blocked customers cleared. 14. In Little’s flow equation. . b . For the exponential distribution. (b) The expected number of cars in the queue. estimating use 15. ␭ is the arrival rate. 5 . 8 . all of the above 13. (c) The value of ␮. depend on the specific model d. which of the following is not true? a. One would never do an expected-cost-per-hour analysis. 6 . 1 0 . estimating the waiting cost c. (d) The mean service time.CD15-28 C D C H A P T E R S b. 16. b. b Skill Problems 15-1. 14. c. When all servers are busy. 7 . d . Cars arrive at Joe’s Service Station for an oil change every 15 minutes. are probabilistic statements c. including those arrivals who choose not to join the system. The service station is capable of serving up to 48 cars during an 8-hour period with no idle time. T. F. 15. If the time to process each entrant is a random variable with an exponential distribution. c. b. lack of memory b. which one of the following does not apply? a. F. 1 2 . The most difficult aspect of performing a formal economic analysis of queuing systems is a. b. a single parameter 12. typically yields service times greater than the mean c. (a) What is the value of ␮? (b) What is the mean service time? (c) What is the mean service rate? 15-4. Estimate: (a) The value of ␭. and the interarrival time has an exponential distribution. F. 16. (a) What is the value of ␭? (b) What is the mean interarrival time? (c) What is the mean arrival rate? 15-2. T. If the interarrival time has an exponential distribution. (b) The mean arrival rate. T. (c) The expected waiting time. c . F. (e) The mean service rate. F. (d) The expected time in the queue. 9 . estimating the service cost Answers 1 . 3 . 2 . Interesting characteristics are the probability that all servers are busy and the average number of busy servers. (e) The probability that the system is empty. c . 4 . T. Barges arrive at the La Crosse lock on the Mississippi River at an average rate of one every 2 hours. new arrivals leave. 15-3. For the data in Problem 15-2. Assume that the service time is also a random variable with an exponential distribution. determine: (a) The expected number of cars in the system. Characteristics of queues such as “expected number in the system” a. ␭ is the constant of proportionality between expected number in the system and expected time in the system. are relevant after the queue has reached a steady state b. c. 1 1 . ␭ is the constant of proportionality between expected number in the queue and expected time in the queue. An immigration agent at Heathrow Airport in London could on the average process 120 entrants during her 8 hours on duty if she were busy all of the time. which of the following is not a characteristic? a. 1 3 .

find: (a) The expected number in the system. What is the average number of people in the system? 15-18. 15-9. (f) The longest average service time for which the expected waiting time is less than 45 minutes. Consider a single-channel queue. . (d) The expected time in the queue.833 minutes in the system (i.C H A P T E R 1 5 Queuing CD15-29 15-5.M. 15-17. If the expected waiting time is half an hour. and on the average it takes 30 minutes to move a barge through the lock. 20 minutes with her patients. find: (a) The probability that no customers are waiting or being served. Describe a M /D/3 queuing system in words. A time study shows that customers spend an average of 11. Assume that the basic model is a reasonable approximation of its operation. 15-7. 15-10. 15-11. Use Little’s flow equation. . 15. 15-6. Assume that the basic model is a reasonable approximation of its operation. Application Problems 15-14. 2. on average. 10. At the Homeburg Savings and Loan. Comment on the following scheme to estimate ␭: 1. Comment on this problem. Customers arrive at the rate of 20 per hour. Assume that it is stated in Problem 15-11 that patients arrive at the rate of seven per hour.7. first-served basis by a specific bank officer. . A doctor spends. (d) The expected waiting time. Find: (a) The expected number in the system. . Consider the La Crosse lock mentioned in Problem 15-1. and the fact that L = ␭/(␮ – ␭) in the basic model to derive the expression for Wq. Let ␭ = 5.. 15-16. Under steady-state conditions. Let ␮ = 10. (b) The expected number in the queue. . The Homeburg Saving and Loan uses three tellers on Saturdays. Customers form a single queue and are served by the first available teller.M. customers who wish to buy certificates of deposit form a single line and are served on a first-come. (b) The expected number in the queue. waiting and being served). (c) The expected waiting time. . . . If on the average an entrant arrives at her station once every 6 minutes. Service time is normally distributed with a mean of 5 minutes and a standard deviation of 1 minute. Use the answers to Problem 15-14 to show that Little’s law holds. . 15-15. Consider the basic model. (c) The expected waiting time. Assume that the basic model is a reasonable approximation of her operation. Consider the basic model. (e) The probability that the system is empty. and the mean service time is 6 minutes. the expression for the mean service time. Use Little’s flow equation and the fact that L = ␭/(␮ – ␭) in the basic model to derive the expression for W. and 4:00 P. Recall that if she were busy all the time she could process 120 entrants during her 8-hour shift. The new estimate of the mean interarrival time for the coming season is 60 minutes for barges. 15-13. (c) The expected waiting time in the queue. Solve (a) through (e) of Problem 15-14 using the generalized model for the case in which the variance of the service time distribution is equal to its mean. Let N equal the number of arrivals between 8:00 A. Customers arrive at the rate of one every 8 minutes. The interarrival time and the service time for customers each has an exponential distribution. (d) The expected time in the queue. and plot the expected number in the system for ␮ = 6. Set ␭ = 8/N. Consider the immigration officer mentioned in Problem 15-3. and plot the probability that the system is empty for ␭ = 0.e. what is the expected time in the queue? 15-12. (b) The expected number of people in the queue. (e) The expected number of people in the system. 15-8. 1. (e) The probability that the system is empty.