Service providers often share delay information, in the form of delay announcements, with their customers. In practice, simple delay announcements, such as average waiting times or a weighted average of previously delayed customers, are often used. Our goal in this paper is to gain insight into when such announcements perform well. Specifically, we compare the accuracies of two announcements: (i) a static announcement that does not exploit real-time information about the state of the system and (ii) a dynamic announcement, specifically the last-to-enter-service (LES) announcement, which equals the delay of the last customer to have entered service at the time of the announcement. We propose a novel correlation-based approach that is theoretically appealing because it allows for a comparison of the accuracies of announcements across different queueing models, including multiclass models with a priority service discipline. It is also practically useful because estimating correlations is much easier than fitting an entire queueing model. Using a combination of queueing-theoretic analysis, real-life data analysis, and simulation, we analyze the performance of static and dynamic announcements and derive an appropriate weighted average of the two which we demonstrate has a superior performance using both simulation and data from a call center.
- Delay announcements
- Many-server queues
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Strategy and Management
- Management Science and Operations Research