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Optimal Assignment of Servers to Tasks when Collaboration is Inefficient

Summary: Optimal Assignment of Servers to Tasks when
Collaboration is Inefficient
SigrŽun AndradŽottir and Hayriye Ayhan
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA 30332-0205, U.S.A.
Douglas G. Down
Department of Computing and Software
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L7, Canada
August 10, 2011
Consider a Markovian system of two stations in tandem with finite intermediate buffer and
two servers. The servers are heterogeneous, flexible, and more efficient when they work on their
own than when they collaborate. We determine how the servers should be assigned dynamically
to the stations with the goal of maximizing the system throughput. We show that the optimal
policy depends on whether or not one server is dominant (i.e., faster at both stations) and on the
magnitude of the efficiency loss of collaborating servers. In particular, if one server is dominant
then he must divide his time between the two stations and we identify the threshold policy the
dominant server should use; otherwise each server should focus on the station where he is the


Source: Ayhan, Hayriye - School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
Down, Doug - Department of Computing and Software, McMaster University


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences; Engineering