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Optimal control of servers in front and back rooms with correlated work

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In this article we deal with the problem of optimal server allocation between the front and the back room of a service facility (for all states of the system) when the work in the back room is generated by the service provided in the front room. The servers are cross-trained and can switch between front room and back room tasks without any loss of productivity. We also determine the optimal number of servers required to meet certain service levels. Our service criteria is that both the mean number of customers waiting for service in the front room and the mean number of jobs (work) accumulated are bounded from above. We model the problem as a Markov decision problem and use linear programming to solve it.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, 105 St. George Street, M5S 3E6, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Publication date: 2005-02-01

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