Partitioning of servers in queueing systems during rush hour

Bin Hu, Saif Benjaafar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This paper is motivated by two phenomena observed in many queueing systems in practice. The first is the partitioning of server capacity among different customers based on their service time requirements. The second is rush hour demand where a large number of customers arrive over a short period of time followed by few or no arrivals for an extended period thereafter. We study a system with multiple parallel servers and multiple customer classes. The servers can be partitioned into server groups, each dedicated to a single customer class. The system operates under a rush hour regime with a large number of customers arriving at the beginning of the rush hour period. We show that this allows us to reduce the problem to one that is deterministic and for which closed-form solutions can be obtained. We compare the performance of the system with and without server partitioning during rush hour and address three basic questions. (1) Is partitioning beneficial to the system? (2) Is it equally beneficial to all customer classes? (3) If it is implemented, what is an optimal partition? We evaluate the applicability of our results to systems where customers arrive over time using (1) deterministic fluid models and (2) simulation models for systems with stochastic interarrival times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-428
Number of pages13
JournalManufacturing and Service Operations Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Multiple demand classes
  • Multiserver queueing systems
  • Rush hour demand
  • Server partitioning


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