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Routing and Staffing to Incentivize Servers in Many-Server Systems

Ward, AR (University of Southern California)
Monday 12 August 2013, 13:30-14:15

Seminar Room 1, Newton Institute


Co-authors: S. Doroudi, R. Gopalakrishnan, and A. Wierman

Traditionally, research focusing on the design of scheduling and staffing policies for service systems has modeled servers as having fixed (possibly heterogeneous) service rates. However, service systems are often staffed by people. Then, the rate a server chooses to work may be impacted by the scheduling and staffing policies used by the system. We present a model for such ``strategic servers'' that choose their service rate in order to maximize a trade-off between an ``effort cost'', which captures the idea that servers exert more effort when working at a faster rate, and a ``value of idleness'', which assumes that servers prefer to be idle as much as possible. In this strategic server framework, we re-visit classic scheduling and staffing questions in many-server systems, and, in particular, we investigate the performance of the common square-root safety staffing rule.




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