Queuing Theory (Economics) - Explained
What is Queuing Theory?
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Table of ContentsWhat is Queuing Theory?How does Queuing Theory Work?Queuing Theory Put to UseQueuing Theory HistoryAcademic Research on Queuing Theory
What is Queuing Theory?
Queuing theory which is also spelled as "Queueing Theory" is simply defined as the mathematical study of the crowdedness and delays associated with waiting in lines. It looks at every step of waiting in line in order to be served and analyzes them. It assists users to make sound business decisions on building efficient and cost-effective workflow systems because it falls under operations research. The queuing theory is put to use by a wide range of real-life applications.
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How does Queuing Theory Work?
Limited availability of resources results in queues. If there are no queues, it would mean a firm is operating costly overcapacity, and this is not economical. Queuing theory assists in the formulation of balanced systems that will not be too expensive to maintain, and at the same time serve customers rapidly and effectively. Every queuing system is split into various units depending on the activity each unit is queuing for. The application of the queuing theory to a firm makes room for the development of a well organized queuing system, processes, pricing mechanisms, and strategic arrival process management; to a customer's waiting time and multiply the number of customers that will be served at a specified time range.
Queuing Theory Put to Use
The queuing theory which is a branch of the operations management techniques is majorly used to ascertain and classify staffing needs, inventory, and scheduling; all of which assist in establishing effective and efficient customer service. It is regularly used by Six Sigma practitioners to enhance processes. An example of this can be seen in the analysis of the potential effects of a bioterrorism attack on the soil of the United States by Stanford's School of Business professor Wein et al. In a 2003 paper by applying the queuing theory. The theory enabled them to propose a system that will reduce waiting times for medications and thereby, substantially lowering the death rates associated with such waiting.
Queuing Theory History
The queueing theory has its roots in research carried out by Agner Krarup Erlang, a Danish engineer, statistician, and mathematician; who created models to describe the Copenhagen telephone exchange in 1909. In 1920, he modeled the number of telephone calls arriving at an exchange by a Poisson process and solved the M (arrival process) / D (service quantity) / k (Servers quantity) queueing model. His work created an avenue for the appearance of the Erlang theory of efficient networks and the field of telephone network analysis. His ideas have since been applied by various industries including telecommunications, traffic engineering, computing and, particularly in industrial engineering, in the design of factories, shops, offices, and hospitals, as well as in project management.