Managing customer arrivals in service systems with multiple identical servers

Christos Zacharias, Michael Pinedo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


We analyze a discrete multiserver model for scheduling customer arrivals under no-shows. The challenge is to assign customers to time slots so that the service system utilizes its resources e ciently and customers experience short waiting times. We provide theoretical and heuristic guidelines for an e ective practice of appointment overbooking to o set no-shows. Recursive and explicit expressions for the performance measures of interest are derived based on the random evolution of the system’s workload in transient state. We prove discrete convexity properties of the optimization problem that restrict our search to a contained solution space and guarantee that a local search algorithm terminates with a globally optimal schedule. Extensive computational experiments reveal additional properties and patterns that appear in the optimal schedule and motivate the development of two very well-performing and computationally inexpensive heuristic solutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-656
Number of pages18
JournalManufacturing and Service Operations Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Discrete convexity
  • Discrete queues
  • No-shows
  • Overbooking
  • Parallel servers
  • Scheduling
  • Service systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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