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Generalised 'join the shortest queue' policies for the dynamic routing of jobs to multi-class queues

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Phil Ansell, Professor Kevin Glazebrook, Dr Christopher Kirkbride


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Jobs or customers arrive and require service that may be provided at one of several different stations. The associated routing problems concern how customers may be assigned to stations in an optimal manner. Much of the classical literature concerns a single class of customers seeking service from a collection of homogeneous stations. We argue that many contemporary application areas call for the analysis of routing problems in which many classes of customer seek service provided at a collection of diverse stations. This paper is the first to consider routing policies in such complex environments which take appropriate account of the degree of congestion at each service station. A simple and intuitive class of policies emerges from a policy improvement approach. In a numerical study, the policies were close to optimal in all cases.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ansell PS, Glazebrook KD, Kirkbride C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of the Operational Research Society

Year: 2003

Volume: 54

Issue: 4

Pages: 379-389

ISSN (print): 0160-5682

ISSN (electronic): 1476-9360

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan


DOI: 10.1057/palgrave.jors.2601504


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