Introduction

When waiting line (queuing) theory is introduced in business or engineering classes, students are presented fundamental rules and equations that give consistent results for the same set of conditions. This simplifies the initial discussion of often complex issues to enable students to become comfortable with the basic concepts and obtain the average results for various waiting line performance measures. Later, usually at the graduate level, the pesky details regarding the real-life variability in these average values are revealed to explain why the predictions provided by the fundamental rules rarely are exactly true. As many of you no doubt recognize, this last statement also applies to many other disciplines and thus should ...

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