Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

2001 Edition
| Editors: Saul I. Gass, Carl M. Harris

Queueing theory

  • Daniel P. Heyman
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-0611-X_847


Queueing theory is the study of service systems with substantial statistical fluctuations in either the arrival or service rates. Other names for the subject are stochastic service systems and the theory of mass storage. An example of a stochastic service system from everyday life is a line for bank tellers (human or automatic); customers arrive at random, and the transaction lengths will vary de-pending on the services requested. An example from the world of technology is a computer system; jobs arrive randomly and require different amounts of system resources. An all-too-common source of service-rate variability is a hardware or software crash, which probably occurs randomly even though it might appear that they happen just when you want to use the computer. Looking inside the computer system reveals some more stochastic-service systems. The components (e.g., disk drives, I/O devices, the CPU) have randomly arriving tasks, and the time required to execute a task may be...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. [1]
    Cohen, J.W. (1969). The Single Server Queue. John Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    Cooper, R.B. (1984). Introduction to Queueing Theory, 2nd ed., North-Holland, New York.Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    Cox, D.R. and Smith, W.L. (1961). Queues, Methuen, London.Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    Gross, D. and Harris, C.M. (1998). Fundamentals of Queueing Theory, 3rd ed., John Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    Heyman, D.P. and Sobel, M.J. (1982). Stochastic Models in Operations Research, vol. 1. McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    Kelly, F.P. (1979). Reversibility and Stochastic Networks. John Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    Kleinrock, L. (1975). Queueing Systems, vols. 1 and 2. John Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    Mehdi, J. (1991). Stochastic Models in Queueing Theory. Academic Press, Boston.Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    Morse, P.M. (1958). Queues, Inventories and Maintenance. John Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    Neuts. M.F. (1981). Matrix-Geometric Solutions in Stochastic Models. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    Prabhu, N.U. (1965). Queues and Inventories. John Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    Takács, L. (1962). Introduction to the Theory of Queues. Oxford University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  13. [13]
    Walrand, J. (1988). An Introduction to Queueing Networks. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs.Google Scholar
  14. [14]
    Wolff, R.W. (1989). Stochastic Modeling and the Theory of Queues. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel P. Heyman
    • 1
  1. 1.AT&T LaboratoriesMiddletownUSA