The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Queueing Theory

  • Matthew J. Sobel
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95189-5_1683

Abstract

Queueing theory is about mathematical models of congestion and delay phenomena. Most of the models are stochastic and, until the 1970s, they described physical rather than economic characteristics. For example, there is more theory from which one could deduce the (probability) distribution of the number of items stored in an inventory system than there is to specify a pattern of tolls which is appropriate for a municipal road traffic network. Similarly, the theory for models of a single service facility, such as a post office, is more highly developed than the theory for networks of service facilities, such as a multi-access computer network. Recent and current research, often motivated by emerging technology in manufacturing and computer-based communication systems, is redressing the imbalances.

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew J. Sobel
    • 1
  1. 1.