Strategic queueing behavior for individual and social optimization in managing discrete time working vacation queue with Bernoulli interruption schedule

05 Aug 2016

In this paper, we consider a discrete time working vacation queue with a utility function for the reward of receiving the service and the cost of waiting in the system. A more flexible switching mechanism between low and regular service states is introduced to enhance the practical value of the working vacation queue. Under different precision levels of the system information, namely observable, almost unobservable and fully unobservable cases, the utility function is studied from both the individual customer’s and the system administrator’s points of view. By analyzing the steady-state behavior of the system, the associated optimal joining decisions under different information scenarios are obtained. We find that for the fully observable queue, the joining threshold for individual optimization may be less than the one for social optimization in working vacation period. A similar situation also appears in almost unobservable case. Such phenomenon is not possible for the classic first come first served queue due to the fact that there is no vacation time and thus will not cause large fluctuations in customers’ conditional waiting time. Additionally, we also conduct some numerical comparisons to demonstrate the effect of the information levels as well as system parameters on customer joining behavior.