IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Partitioning Customers into Service Groups

  • Ward Whitt

    (Room A117, AT&T Labs, Shannon Laboratory, 180 Park Avenue, Florham Park, New Jersey 07932-0971)

Registered author(s):

    We explore the issues of when and how to partition arriving customers into service groups that will be served separately, in a first-come first-served manner, by multiserver service systems having a provision for waiting, and how to assign an appropriate number of servers to each group. We assume that customers can be classified upon arrival, so that different service groups can have different service-time distributions. We provide methodology for quantifying the tradeoff between economies of scale associated with larger systems and the benefit of having customers with shorter service times separated from other customers with longer service times, as is done in service systems with express lines. To properly quantify this tradeoff, it is important to characterize service-time distributions beyond their means. In particular, it is important to also determine the variance of the service-time distribution of each service group. Assuming Poisson arrival processes, we then can model the congestion experienced by each server group as an M/G/squeue with unlimited waiting room. We use previously developed approximations for M/G/sperformance measures to quickly evaluate alternative partitions.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 45 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 11 (November)
    Pages: 1579-1592

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:45:y:1999:i:11:p:1579-1592
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA
    Phone: +1-443-757-3500
    Fax: 443-757-3515
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:45:y:1999:i:11:p:1579-1592. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.