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On the throughput-WIP trade-off in queueing systems, diminishing returns and the threshold property: A linear programming approach
Niño-Mora, José
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
We present a new unifying framework for investigating throughput-WIP(Work-in-Process) optimal control problems in queueing systems,based on reformulating them as linear programming (LP) problems withspecial structure: We show that if a throughput-WIP performance pairin a stochastic system satisfies the Threshold Property we introducein this paper, then we can reformulate the problem of optimizing alinear objective of throughput-WIP performance as a (semi-infinite)LP problem over a polygon with special structure (a thresholdpolygon). The strong structural properties of such polygones explainthe optimality of threshold policies for optimizing linearperformance objectives: their vertices correspond to the performancepairs of threshold policies. We analyze in this framework theversatile input-output queueing intensity control model introduced byChen and Yao (1990), obtaining a variety of new results, including (a)an exact reformulation of the control problem as an LP problem over athreshold polygon; (b) an analytical characterization of the Min WIPfunction (giving the minimum WIP level required to attain a targetthroughput level); (c) an LP Value Decomposition Theorem that relatesthe objective value under an arbitrary policy with that of a giventhreshold policy (thus revealing the LP interpretation of Chen andYao's optimality conditions); (d) diminishing returns and invarianceproperties of throughput-WIP performance, which underlie thresholdoptimality; (e) a unified treatment of the time-discounted andtime-average cases.
Operations Management
throughput-wip (work-in-process) optimal queueing control
threshold optimality
achievable performance region
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