Reducing the variability of inter-departure times of a single-server queueing system – The effects of skewness

Rodrigo Romero-Silva*, Erika Marsillac, Sabry Shaaban, Margarita Hurtado-Hernández

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

A critical performance measure in serial production lines is the variability of inter-departure times of a single-server queue. Increasing upstream inter-departure time variability generates greater downstream variability, diminishing overall line performance. Theory suggests that the variability of inter-departure times of a single-server queue is reduced by decreasing the variance of inter-arrival and service times. This study investigates the effects of the skewness of inter-arrival and service time distributions on the variability of inter-departure times. Contrary to previous results suggesting that mean waiting times of a GI/G/1 queue can be reduced by increasing inter-arrival time skewness, this experimental study of a GI/G/1 queue with triangular inter-arrival and service times shows that the inter-departure time coefficient of variation is reduced through a combination of negative inter-arrival time skewness and positive service time skewness. These results also suggest that the absolute value of the negative autocorrelation between consecutive departures is reduced by the same combination of negative inter-arrival time skewness and positive service time skewness for low values of server's utilization, while positive skewness for both inter-arrival and service times reduces this value for high values of server's utilization. Finally, it was found that queue capacity constraints increase the coefficient of variation of inter-departure times, as has been previously suggested, as well as the skewness and the absolute correlation values of the inter-departure time distribution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-517
Number of pages18
JournalComputers & Industrial Engineering
Volume135
Early online date15 Jun 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

Keywords

  • Autocorrelation
  • Buffer capacity
  • Coefficient of variation
  • Queueing theory
  • Skewness

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