An Infinite Dimensional Model for A Single Server Priority Queue

Neal Master, Zhengyuan Zhou, Nicholas Bambos

We consider a Markovian single server queue in which customers are preemptively scheduled by exogenously assigned priority levels. The novelty in our model is that the priority levels are randomly assigned from a continuous probability measure rather than a discrete one. Because the priority levels are drawn from a continuum, the queue is modeled by a measure-valued stochastic process. We analyze the steady state behavior of this process and provide several results. We derive a measure that describes the average distribution of customer priority levels in the system; we provide a formula for the expected sojourn time of a customer as a function of his priority level; and we provide a formula for the expected waiting time of a customer as a function of his priority level. We interpret these quantitative results and give a qualitative understanding of how the priority levels affect individual customers as well as how they affect the system as a whole. The theoretical analysis is verified by simulation. We also discuss some directions of future work.

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