An alternating service problem

Maria Vlasiou, Ivo J.B.F. Adan

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12 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


We consider a system consisting of a server alternating between two service points. At both service points there is an infinite queue of customers that have to undergo a preparation phase before being served. We are interested in the waiting time of the server. The waiting time of the server satisfies an equation very similar to Lindley's equation for the waiting time in the GI/G/1 queue. We will analyse this Lindley-type equation under the assumptions that the preparation phase follows a phase-type distribution while the service times have a general distribution. If we relax the condition that the server alternates between the service points, then the model turns out to be the machine repair problem. Although the latter is a well-known problem, the distribution of the waiting time of the server has not been studied yet. We shall derive this distribution under the same setting and we shall compare the two models numerically. As expected, the waiting time of the server is on average smaller in the machine repair problem than in the alternating service system, but they are not stochastically ordered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-426
JournalProbability in the engineering and informational sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


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