Customer-Server Population Dynamics in Heavy Traffic

Rami Atar, Prasenjit Karmakar, David Lipshutz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study a many-server queueing model with server vacations, where the population size dynamics of servers and customers are coupled: a server may leave for vacation only when no customers await, and the capacity available to customers is directly affected by the number of servers on vacation. We focus on scaling regimes in which server dynamics and queue dynamics fluctuate at matching time scales so that their limiting dynamics are coupled. Specifically, we argue that interesting coupled dynamics occur in (a) the Halfin–Whitt regime, (b) the nondegenerate slowdown regime, and (c) the intermediate near Halfin–Whitt regime, whereas the dynamics asymptotically decouple in the other heavy-traffic regimes. We characterize the limiting dynamics, which are different for each scaling regime. We consider relevant respective performance measures for regimes (a) and (b)—namely, the probability of wait and the slowdown. Although closed-form formulas for these performance measures have been derived for models that do not accommodate server vacations, it is difficult to obtain closed-form formulas for these performance measures in the setting with server vacations. Instead, we propose formulas that approximate these performance measures and depend on the steady-state mean number of available servers and previously derived formulas for models without server vacations. We test the accuracy of these formulas numerically.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-91
Number of pages24
JournalStochastic Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Halfin–Whitt regime
  • heavy traffic
  • many-server queue
  • nondegenerate slowdown regime
  • server vacations

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Statistics and Probability


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