Incentives for Shared Services : Multiserver Queueing Systems with Priorities

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1751–1759
Number of pages9
Journal / PublicationManufacturing & Service Operations Management
Issue number3
Online published9 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


Problem definition: We study shared service whereby multiple independent service providers collaborate by pooling their resources into a shared service center (SSC). The SSC deploys an optimal priority scheduling policy for their customers collectively by accounting for their individual waiting costs and service-level requirements. We model the SSC as a multiclass M/M/c queueing system subject to service-level constraints. Academic/practical relevance: Shared services are increasingly popular among firms for saving operational costs and improving service quality. One key issue in fostering collaboration is the allocation of costs among different firms. Methodology: To incentivize collaboration, we investigate cost allocation rules for the SSC by applying concepts from cooperative game theory. Results: To empower our analysis, we show that a cooperative game with polymatroid optimization can be analyzed via simple auxiliary games. By exploiting the polymatroidal structures of the multiclass queueing systems, we show when the games possess a core allocation. We explore the extent to which our results remain valid for some general cases. Managerial implications: We provide operational insights and guidelines on how to allocate costs for the SSC under the multiserver queueing context with priorities.

Research Area(s)

  • resource pooling, shared service, multiclass queueing systems, priority rules, polymatroid, cooperative game theory