Wait-time predictors for customer service systems with time-varying demand and capacity


Authors: Ibrahim, R. and Whitt, W.


We develop new, improved real-time delay predictors for many-server service systems with a time-varying arrival rate, a time-varying number of servers, and customer abandonment. We develop four new predictors, two of which exploit an established deterministic fluid approximation for a many-server queueing model with those features. These delay predictors can be used to make delay announcements. We use computer simulation to show that the proposed predictors outperform previous predictors. Subject classifications: delay prediction; delay announcements; simulation; time-varying arrival rates; time-varying number of servers; nonstationary queues. Area of review: Stochastic Models. History: Received March 2010; revisions received June 2010, September 2010; accepted November 2010. © 2011 INFORMS.

Operations Research, Volume 59, Issue 5, September 2011