Integrating User Preferences and Real-Time Workload in Information Services

Prabhudev Konana, Alok Gupta, Andrew B. Whinston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


We propose priority pricing as an on-line adaptive resource scheduling mechanism to manage real-time databases within organizations. These databases provide timely information for delay sensitive users. The proposed approach allows diverse users to optimize their own objectives while collectively maximizing organizational benefits. We rely on economic principles to derive priority prices by modeling the fixed-capacity real-time database environment as an economic system. Each priority is associated with a price and a delay, and the price is the premium (congestion toll resulting from negative externalities) for accessing the database. At optimality, the prices are equal to the aggregate delay cost imposed on all other users of the database. These priority prices are used to control admission and to schedule user jobs in the database system. The database monitors the arrival processes and the state of the system, and incrementally adjusts the prices to regulate the flow. Because our model ignores the operational intricacies of the real-time databases (e.g., intermediate queues at the CPU and disks, memory size, etc.) to maintain analytical tractability, we evaluate the performance of our pricing approach through simulation. We evaluate the database performance using both the traditional real-time database performance metrics (e.g., the number of jobs serviced on time, average tardiness) and the economic benefits (e.g., benefits to the organization). The simulation results, under various database workload parameters, show that our priority pricing mechanism not only maximizes organizational benefits but also outperforms in all aspects of traditional performance measures compared to frequently used database scheduling techniques, such as first-come-first-served, earliest deadline first and least slack first.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-196
Number of pages20
JournalInformation Systems Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Electronic Commerce
  • Information Services
  • Real-Time Databases
  • Response Time
  • User Preference


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