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Modeling Daily Arrivals to a Telephone Call Center

Author

Listed:
  • Athanassios N. Avramidis

    () (GERAD and Département d'Informatique et de Recherche Opérationnelle, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, H3C 3J7 Canada)

  • Alexandre Deslauriers

    (GERAD and Département d'Informatique et de Recherche Opérationnelle, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, H3C 3J7 Canada)

  • Pierre L'Ecuyer

    (GERAD and Département d'Informatique et de Recherche Opérationnelle, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, H3C 3J7 Canada)

Abstract

We develop stochastic models of time-dependent arrivals, with focus on the application to call centers. Our models reproduce three essential features of call center arrivals observed in recent empirical studies: a variance larger than the mean for the number of arrivals in any given time interval, a time-varying arrival intensity over the course of a day, and nonzero correlation between the arrival counts in different periods within the same day. For each of the new models, we characterize the joint distribution of the vector of arrival counts, with particular focus on characterizing how the new models are more flexible than standard or previously proposed models. We report empirical results from a study on arrival data from a real-life call center, including the essential features of the arrival process, the goodness of fit of the estimated models, and the sensitivity of various simulated performance measures of the call center to the choice of arrival process model.

Suggested Citation

  • Athanassios N. Avramidis & Alexandre Deslauriers & Pierre L'Ecuyer, 2004. "Modeling Daily Arrivals to a Telephone Call Center," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(7), pages 896-908, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:50:y:2004:i:7:p:896-908
    DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.1040.0236
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1040.0236
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