Waiting Lines & Queuing Models
American Military University
For my project on other operations research techniques I have decided to research waiting lines and queuing models. My interest in this application stems from my personal dislike for standing in lines and waiting on hold while on the phone. This is virtually my only pet peeve; nothing aggravates me faster than standing in a line or waiting on hold. Like most people I go out of my way to avoid lines, using strategies such as arriving early or visiting during non-peak times. However, before investigating this topic, I had no idea there was a specific science behind the madness.
Queuing models are important applications for predicting congestion in a system. This can encompass everything from a waiting line at pharmacy to traffic flow at a busy intersection. This is important because it can impact businesses in unforeseen ways. Customers may begin to believe that they are wasting their time when they are forced to wait in line for service and continued delays may begin to negatively influence their shopping preferences.
Organizations design their waiting line systems by weighing the consequences of having a customer wait in line, versus the costs of providing more service capacity. Queuing theory provides a variety of analytical models that can be used to help decision makers.
Queuing theory was born in the early 1900s with the work of A. K. Erlang of the Copenhagen Telephone Company, who derived several important formulas for tele-traffic engineering that today bear his name. The range of applications has grown to include not only telecommunications and computer science, but also manufacturing, air traffic control, military logistics, design of theme parks, and many other areas that involve service systems whose demands are random. Queuing theory is considered to be one of the standard methodologies (together with linear programming, simulation, etc.) of operations...
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