Equilibrium and optimal strategies to join a queue with partial information on service times

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-297
Journal / PublicationEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number2
Online published22 Apr 2011
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


In this paper, we study customer equilibrium as well as socially optimal strategies to join a queue with only partial information on the service time distribution such as moments and the range. Based on such partial information, customers adopt the entropy-maximization principle to obtain the expectation of their waiting cost and decide to join or balk. We find that more information encourages customers to join the queue. And it is beneficial for decision makers to convey partial information to customers in welfare maximization but reveal full information in profit maximization. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Entropy maximization, Equilibrium, Joining/balking behavior, Partial information, Queueing