Group for Research in Decision Analysis

Optimal decentralized queuing system with diversion: Using incentives to influence behavior

Lucie Desfontaines Polytechnique Montréal, Canada

In this talk, we are interested in how people's queueing behavior is influenced by the use of incentives. This setting is motivated by applications where a customer may choose to postpone his entry into a queue by accepting to take a so-called diversion, where this diversion is in some way more pleasant than waiting in the queue.

The goal is thus to determine the minimal incentive to be provided by the queue organizing agent to entice users to take the diversion, as a measure sufficient to reduce the overall waiting time in the queue.

We propose a formulation of this problem using stochastic dynamic programming. We further propose a decentralized version of the model where the service agent and the organizing agent does not wish to share all the state information. We show that it is possible to ensure that the solution of the decentralized problem is as efficient as that of the centralized system through the use of transferring contracts between the two agents.

This seminar is only open to students of GERAD.
We would highly appreciate if you could confirm your attendance with your full name. Pizza and non alcoholic beverages will be available; you can also bring your own lunch.