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Approximating the Performance of Call

Centers with Queues using Loss Models
Ph. Chevalier, J-Chr. Van den Schrieck
Université catholique de Louvain
May 11, 2006 Ph. Chevalier, J-C Van den Schrieck, UCL 2
Observation
•High correlation between performance of
configurations in loss system and in systems with
queues
May 11, 2006 Ph. Chevalier, J-C Van den Schrieck, UCL 3
Loss models are easier than
queueing models
• Smaller state space.
• Easier approximation methods for loss
systems than for queueing systems.
(e.g. Hayward, Equivalent Random Method)

May 11, 2006 Ph. Chevalier, J-C Van den Schrieck, UCL 4
Main assumptions
• Multi skill service centers (multiple
independant demands)
• Poisson arrivals
• Exponential service times
• One infinite queue / type of demand
• Processing times identical for all type
May 11, 2006 Ph. Chevalier, J-C Van den Schrieck, UCL 5
Building a loss approximation



• Queue with
infinite length
• Incoming
inputs with
infinite
patience
Rejected inputs
• No queues
• Rejected if
nothing
available

May 11, 2006 Ph. Chevalier, J-C Van den Schrieck, UCL 6
Building a loss approximation
• Server configuration
– Use identical configuration in loss system
• Routing of arriving calls
– Can be applied to loss systems
• Scheduling of waiting calls
– No equivalence in loss systems
– Difficult to approximate systems with other
rules than FCFS
May 11, 2006 Ph. Chevalier, J-C Van den Schrieck, UCL 7
• multiple skill example
Lost calls
Type Z-Calls
Z
Type X-Calls Type Y-Calls
X Y
X-Y
X-Y-Z
Building a loss approximation
May 11, 2006 Ph. Chevalier, J-C Van den Schrieck, UCL 8
• performance measures of Queueing
Systems:
– Probability of Waiting:

Erlang C formula (M/M/s system):



With
• « a » = λ / μ, the incoming load (in Erlangs).
• « s » the number of servers.


Building a loss approximation
May 11, 2006 Ph. Chevalier, J-C Van den Schrieck, UCL 9
• performance measures of Queueing
Systems:
– Average Waiting Time (Wq) :

Building a loss approximation
Finding C(s,a) is the key element
May 11, 2006 Ph. Chevalier, J-C Van den Schrieck, UCL 10
Erlang formulas
• Link between Erlang B and Erlang C:




Where B(s,a) is the Erlang B formula with parameters « s » and « a » :


May 11, 2006 Ph. Chevalier, J-C Van den Schrieck, UCL 11
Approximations
• We try to extend the Erlang formulas to
multi-skill settings
– Incoming load « a »: easily determined
– B(s,a) : Hayward approximation
– Number of operators « s » : allocation
based on loss system

May 11, 2006 Ph. Chevalier, J-C Van den Schrieck, UCL 12
Approximations
• Hayward Loss:

Where:
• ν is the overflow rate
• z is the peakedness of the incoming flow,


May 11, 2006 Ph. Chevalier, J-C Van den Schrieck, UCL 13
Approximations
• Idea: virtually allocate operators to the different
flows i.o. to make separated systems.
Sx Sy
Sxy
Sx Sy
Sxy Sxy’ Sxy’’
+ +
Sx Sy
Operators: allocated according to
their utilization by the different
flows.
May 11, 2006 Ph. Chevalier, J-C Van den Schrieck, UCL 14
Simulation experiments
• Description
– Comparison of systems with loss and of
systems with queues. Both types receive
identical incoming data.
– Comparison with analytically obtained
information.
• analysis of results
May 11, 2006 Ph. Chevalier, J-C Van den Schrieck, UCL 15
Simulation experiments
5 Erlangs 5 Erlangs
X = 3 Y = n
X-Y = 7
n from 1 to 10
Experiments with 2 types of
demands
May 11, 2006 Ph. Chevalier, J-C Van den Schrieck, UCL 16
Simulation experiments
Proportion of Operators for each Type of Demand
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
2 4 6 8 10 12
Queueing System (simulated)
L
o
s
s

S
y
s
t
e
m

(
s
i
m
u
l
a
t
e
d
)
Operators to X-flow
Operators to Y-flow
May 11, 2006 Ph. Chevalier, J-C Van den Schrieck, UCL 17
Simulation experiments
Waiting Probabilities (W.P.) using simulation data
0
0,1
0,2
0,3
0,4
0,5
0,6
0,7
0,8
0,9
0 0,1 0,2 0,3 0,4 0,5 0,6 0,7 0,8 0,9
Simulated W.P.
C
o
m
p
u
t
e
d

W
.
P
.
W.P. X
W.P. Y
May 11, 2006 Ph. Chevalier, J-C Van den Schrieck, UCL 18
Simulation experiments
Waiting Probabilities (W.P.) using computed data
0
0,1
0,2
0,3
0,4
0,5
0,6
0,7
0,8
0,9
0 0,1 0,2 0,3 0,4 0,5 0,6 0,7 0,8 0,9
Simulated W.P.
C
o
m
p
u
t
e
d

W
.
P
.
W.P. X
W.P. Y.
May 11, 2006 Ph. Chevalier, J-C Van den Schrieck, UCL 19
Simulation experiments
Accuracy of the Approximation compared with the
Simulations
0
0,005
0,01
0,015
0,02
0,025
W
a
i
t
i
n
g

P
r
o
b
a
b
i
l
i
t
y
Waiting Probability X
Waiting Probability Y
General Waiting
Probability
N = Sim
B = Sim
N = Sim
B = Comp
N = Comp
B = Comp
May 11, 2006 Ph. Chevalier, J-C Van den Schrieck, UCL 20
Average Waiting Time
• The interaction between the different types of demand is a little harder to
analyze for the average waiting time.
– Once in queue the FCFS rule will tend to equalize waiting times

– Each type can have very different capacity dedicated
=> One virtual queue, identical waiting times for all types
=> Independent queues for each type, different waiting times
May 11, 2006 Ph. Chevalier, J-C Van den Schrieck, UCL 21
Average Waiting Time
• We derivate two bounds on the waiting time:
1. A lower bound: consider one queue ; all operators are available for all calls from
queue.


2. An upper bound: consider two queues ; operators answer only one type of call
from queue.
May 11, 2006 Ph. Chevalier, J-C Van den Schrieck, UCL 22
Simulation experiments
Bounds for Average Waiting Time
0
0,5
1
1,5
2
2,5
0 0,5 1 1,5 2 2,5
Simulated Waiting Time
C
o
m
p
u
t
e
d

W
a
i
t
i
n
g

T
i
m
e
Inf Bound for X
Inf Bound for Y
Sup Bound for X
Sub Bound for Y
May 11, 2006 Ph. Chevalier, J-C Van den Schrieck, UCL 23
Simulation experiments
0
0,05
0,1
0,15
0,2
0 0,0
1
0,0
2
0,0
3
0,0
4
0,0
5
0,0
6
0,0
7
0,0
8
0,0
9
0,1 0,1
1
0,1
2
0,1
3
0,1
4
0,1
5
0,1
6
0,1
7
0,1
8
0,1
9
0,2
Simul Values
C
o
m
p

V
a
l
u
e
s
Inf X
Inf Y
Sup X
Sup Y
May 11, 2006 Ph. Chevalier, J-C Van den Schrieck, UCL 24
Limits and further research
• Service time distribution : extend
simulations to systems with service time
distributions different from exponential
• Approximate other performance
measures
• Extention to systems with impatient
customers / limited size queue