Maximizing Throughput in Finite-Source Parallel Queue Systems
European Journal of Operational Research, Volume 217, Issue 3, 16 March 2012, pp. 554–559
University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2013-196
Posted: 28 Jun 2013
Date Written: March 1, 2011
Motivated by the dispatching of trucks to shovels in surface mines, we study optimal routing in a Markovian finite-source, multi-server queueing system with heterogeneous servers, each with a separate queue. We formulate the problem of routing customers to servers to maximize the system throughput as a Markov Decision Process. When the servers are homogeneous, we demonstrate that the Shortest Queue policy is optimal, and when the servers are heterogeneous, we partially characterize the optimal policy and present a near-optimal and simple-to-implement policy. We use the model to illustrate the substantial benefits of pooling, by comparing it to the permanent assignment of customers to servers.
Keywords: Markov processes, Queueing, Routing to parallel queues, Dispatching systems, Markov decision processes
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