Rational Queueing: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Rational Queueing

1st Edition

By Refael Hassin

Chapman and Hall/CRC

378 pages | 12 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781498745277
pub: 2016-03-15
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Understand the Strategic Behavior in Queueing Systems

Rational Queueing provides one of the first unified accounts of the dynamic aspects involved in the strategic behavior in queues. It explores the performance of queueing systems where multiple agents, such as customers, servers, and central managers, all act but often in a noncooperative manner.

The book first addresses observable queues and models that assume state-dependent behavior. It then discusses other types of information in queueing systems and compares observable and unobservable variations and incentives for information disclosure. The next several chapters present relevant models for the maximization of individual utilities, social welfare, and profits.

After covering queueing networks, from simple parallel servers to general network structures, the author describes models for planned vacations and forced vacations (such as breakdowns). Focusing on supply chain models, he then shows how agents of these models may have different goals yet they all profit when the system operates efficiently. The final chapter allows bounded rationality by lowering the assumption of fully rational agents.


"This unique bibliographical volume by a foremost researcher in the area of strategic queues, or game theoretical analysis of queueing systems, provides a complete panorama of the extensive literature that was published in this area in recent years, spanning the period since the by-now classical monograph of Hassin and Haviv (2003) up to the present day. With over 700 references, individual papers are typically summarized in a paragraph or two, highlighting their essential contribution. The surveyed articles are arranged within a thoughtful subject classification, which makes it easy to focus on topics of interest, while the chronological ordering within each subject clearly displays the progression of ideas and results. Anyone who works in the area of strategic queues should have this book handy on his or her bookshelf. A newcomer may first study the above-mentioned monograph and come back to the present book to fully realize the state of the art."

- Nahum Shimkin, Professor of Electrical Engineering, Technion

"Rational Queueing provides a comprehensive and authoritative survey of recent research on strategic behavior in queueing systems. Focusing on advances in the field since the publication of the classic To Queue or Not to Queue, the author brings the reader up to date by summarizing and organizing over 700 papers from multiple disciplines in a unifying framework. This book will serve as an indispensable reference for researchers, students, and teachers in this area."

- Philipp Afèche, Associate Professor of Operations Management, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

"Rational Queueing is the book that defines and summarizes the important area of operations research that combines queueing with game theory. This is a must-have reference for anyone that is interested in game-theoretic considerations in queueing models. It will be immensely useful as an introduction for beginners and as a reference for mature researchers in the area. Professor Hassin has done a superb job. The book can be used for independent study, but also as the main source for graduate seminars on production, service, and operations management."

- Antonis Economou, Department of Mathematics, University of Athens

"This really is a must read for researchers in game theory, from those just starting out in this field through to more established researchers. It is also a valuable teaching resource, covering both undergraduate topics through to a comprehensive and state-of-the-art review of modern trends in the subject for postgraduate students."

- Paul Harper, Professor of Operational Research and Deputy Head of School of Mathematics, Cardiff University

"With the gross domestic product (GDP) in the service sector accounting for over 90 percent of the whole GDP in many countries and areas such as the United States and Hong Kong, service management is becoming increasingly important. Different from a manufacturing system, a service system has direct contact with customers, a feature that has inspired an increasing trend on studying service management with strategic customers. This book provides a timely and inclusive summary of studies on strategic customer behavior and games among service providers in recent years. I was amazed by two main features of the book. One, the number of papers surveyed is enormous. With over 700 papers surveyed, the book covers a wide range of topics on games among customers and games among service providers. In particular, it surveys those cutting-edge topics in the field such as bounded-rationality and loss-aversion customer behavior. Two, the reviews on papers are extremely accurate. I heard from many researchers that the author of the book, Prof. Refael Hassin, contacted them individually, asking for feedback on the review of their work. I was also requested to provide comments on my work during the writing of this book. These steps assure the high quality of the book. This book can serve as an excellent reference book for researchers and graduate students in the fields of operations management, operations research, industry engineering, civil engineering, and computer science. This is a must-have book and is greatly helpful and handy for researchers in fields involving strategic customers."

- Dr. Pengfei Guo, Associate Professor and Associate Head, Department of Logistics and Maritime Studies, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

"The book summarizes a big amount of actual results concerning the combination of queueing theory and game theory. It indicates the results of over 700 papers appearing in the bibliography in this area and very accurately refers their contents reecting the most actual achievements in a wide range of topics on games among customers and service providers. It can highly be recommended to researchers, teachers and students working in this area, even one can say it is an indispensable handbook for them."

- L?aszl?o Lakatos (Budapest)

"In this book, the author gives an extensive survey on queueing systems in which the agents interact to maximize certain goals. The book is a follow-up of a book on strategic queueing co-authored by the author and M. Haviv [To queue or not to queue: equilibrium behavior in queueing systems, Internat. Ser. Oper. Res. Management Sci., 59, Kluwer Acad. Publ., Boston, MA, 2003; MR2006433]. [..] This book is excellent reading for any researcher interested in the state of the art of rational queueing. It provides an overview on recent work combining queueing systems and game theory."

- Judith Timmer, Mathematical Reviews, January 2017

Table of Contents


Rational queueing


Mode of description

Basic models and assumptions



Social optimality

Useful concepts

Terminology conventions


Observable queues

Extensions and variations of Naor’s model

The dual approach

Allocation of heterogeneous items

Probabilistic joining

Server selection and capacity allocation

Dynamic control


Queue-length-information heterogeneity

Quality-information heterogeneity and signaling

Processing-time information

Information acquisition

Information control

Environmental uncertainty

Delayed information and cheap talk

Ticket queues

Customer decisions

Temporal decisions

Joining, reneging, and jockeying

Benchmark effects

Priority purchasing, overtaking, and line-cutting

Duplicate orders

Choosing the arrival rate

Choosing the service duration

Social optimization and cooperation

Coordination by pricing

Positive network effects


Strategies using memory

Decentralized systems

Systems with public and private service facilities

Cooperation in service systems

Efficiency and price of anarchy

Trading positions


Profit maximization in Naor’s model

Price and capacity

Expert systems

Subscriptions and nonlinear pricing

Providing substitute services


Hoteling-type location models

Searching for customers


Competition when customers maximize utility

Competition with exogenous demand functions

Competition with limited cooperation

Multi-period competition

Hoteling-type models

Customer loyalty

Routing in queueing networks

Parallel servers

Queues with different regimes

Complementary services

Partial control

Routing with transportation costs

Braess-type paradoxes

The Downs–Thomson paradox

Supply chains, outsourcing, and contracting

Inventory supply chains

Service supply chains

Allocation of demand to suppliers


Internet service provision

Queueing games


Strategic vacations

Forced vacations, breakdowns, and catastrophes

Clearing systems

Bounded rationality

Heuristic strategies

Quantal response and attraction demand functions

Quotation sensitivity

Joining and reneging


Subject index

Author index

About the Author

Refael Hassin is a professor in the Department of Statistics and Operations Research at Tel Aviv University. A prominent international scholar, Dr. Hassin is well recognized for his contributions in the area of rational queueing. He has received four grants from the Israel Science Foundation to investigate strategic queueing systems. His research interests include discrete optimization and the economics of queues. He received his PhD in operations research (with distinction) from Yale University.

About the Series

Chapman & Hall/CRC Series in Operations Research

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Operations Research
MATHEMATICS / Probability & Statistics / Bayesian Analysis
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Operations Research