queuing theory

a theory that deals with providing a service on a waiting line, or queue, esp. when the demand for it is irregular and describable by probability distributions, as processing phone calls arriving at a telephone exchange or collecting highway tolls from drivers at tollbooths.

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Study of the behaviour of queues (waiting lines) and their elements.

Queuing theory is a tool for studying several performance parameters of computer systems and is particularly useful in locating the reasons for "bottlenecks," compromised computer performance caused by too much data waiting to be acted on at a particular phase. Queue size and waiting time can be looked at, or items within queues can be studied and manipulated according to factors such as priority, size, or time of arrival.

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      subject in operations research that deals with the problem of providing adequate but economical service facilities involving unpredictable numbers and times or similar sequences. In queuing theory the term customers is used, whether referring to people or things, in correlating such variables as how customers arrive, how service meets their requirements, average service time and extent of variations, and idle time. When such variables are identified for both customers and facilities, choices can be made on the basis of economic advantage.

      Queuing theory is a product of mathematical research that grew largely out of the need to determine the optimum amount of telephone switching equipment required to serve a given area and population. Installation of more than the optimum requires excessive capital investment, while less than optimum means excessive delays in service.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • queuing theory — theory that deals with studying the formation of lines and shortening and guiding them …   English contemporary dictionary

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  • switching theory — Theory of circuits made up of ideal digital devices, including their structure, behaviour, and design. It incorporates Boolean logic (see Boolean algebra), a basic component of modern digital switching systems. Switching is essential to telephone …   Universalium

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