Performance analysis of service systems with priority upgrades

Jingui Xie, Taozeng Zhu, An Kuo Chao, Shuaian Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we study the performance of service systems with priority upgrades. We model the service system as a single-server two-class priority queue, with queue 1 as the normal queue and queue 2 as the priority queue. The queueing model of interest has various applications in healthcare services, perishable inventory and project management. We comprehensively examine the system’s stationary distribution, computational algorithm design and sensitivity analysis. We observe that when queue 2 is large, the conditional distribution of queue 1 approximates a Poisson distribution. The tail probability of queue 2 decays geometrically, while the tail probability of queue 1 decays much faster than queue 2’s. This helps us design an algorithm that computed the stationary distribution. Finally, by using the algorithm, we perform a sensitivity analysis on various system parameters, i.e., the arrival rates, service rates and the upgrade rate. The numerical study provides helpful insights into designing such service systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-705
Number of pages23
JournalAnnals of Operations Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • Finite truncation
  • Performance analysis
  • Priority upgrade

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Decision Sciences(all)
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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