IE 522: Queueing Theory

Catalog Description:

I E 522. Queuing Systems 3 cr.
Elements and classification of queuing systems, single server models, multi-server models, cost analysis and applications. Prerequisite: I E 311 or equivalent.


Expanded Course Description

Queueing systems are all around us. They arise from our need to share resources. We often wait for or are denied use of some service, device, or benefit by such systems. Some examples are:

We share resources, such as the checker, teller, ticket seller, consession clerk, the movie screen, the web connection, the web server, order fullfillment, parcel delivery, and the parking space because these are expensive resources and having too many would make the service they render more expensive. So, to save some money, we wait. Queueing systems impact us every day and may even affect us without our knowledge, influencing availability and costs of products and services. Yet, without such systems, we might never be able to afford access to these resources at all. Understanding of such systems will help you design and manage better products, services, and systems.

Although IE 522 examines advanced topics in queueing theory, I do not assume that you have had any other courses in the subject. The course is self-contained, requiring only that you have a calculus based course in probability and statistics (IE 311, or equivalent). However, we will also use differential equations, so having had a course in that subject is helpful. While the approach is advanced and you will have to deal with interesting mathematics, the emphasis is on knowing (rather than mathematically proving) results. Also, there is a great deal of emphasis on the practical elements of modeling, and evaluating consequences of system characteristics. The primary objective of this course is to provide you sufficient practical and theoretical knowledge to predict the behavior of a wide variety of queueing systems, allow for them in design, and read intelligently papers in this field that might interest you.



Instructor: John Mullen, Tel:(505)646-2958, email:
Text: Fundamentals of Queueing Theory, 3rd ed., by Donald Gross and Carl M. Harris, Wiley: New York, 1998.
  • Reprints of Appendices to the second edition of Fundamentals of Queueing Theory,
  • IE 522, Advanced Queueing Theory, Student Guide, IE Department, NMSU, January 2004,
  • Lecture Notes (available from the Web-CT site)
Other: Web-CT Site:

Revision Date: December 5, 2005 by jpm.