Equilibrium customers' choice between FCFS and random servers

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Consider two servers of equal service capacity, one serving in a first-come first-served order (FCFS), and the other serving its queue in random order. Customers arrive as a Poisson process and each arriving customer observes the length of the two queues and then chooses to join the queue that minimizes its expected queueing time. Assuming exponentially distributed service times, we numerically compute a Nash equilibrium in this system, and investigate the question of which server attracts the greater share of customers. If customers who arrive to find both queues empty independently choose to join each queue with probability 0.5, then we show that the server with FCFS discipline obtains a slightly greater share of the market. However, if such customers always join the same queue (say of the server with FCFS discipline) then that server attracts the greater share of customers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-254
Number of pages12
JournalQueueing Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • Nash equilibrium
  • Random service


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