Estimating customer impatience in a service system with balking

05/07/2020 ∙ by Yoshiaki Inoue, et al. ∙ 0

This paper studies a service system in which arriving customers are provided with information about the delay they will experience. Based on this information they decide to wait for service or to leave the system. The main objective is to estimate the customers' patience-level distribution and the corresponding potential arrival rate, using knowledge of the actual workload process only. We cast the system as a queueing model, so as to evaluate the corresponding likelihood function. Estimating the unknown parameters relying on a maximum likelihood procedure, we prove strong consistency and derive the asymptotic distribution of the estimation error. Several applications and extensions of the method are discussed. In particular, we indicate how our method generalizes to a multi-server setting. The performance of our approach is assessed through a series of numerical experiments. By fitting parameters of hyperexponential and generalized-hyperexponential distributions our method provides a robust estimation framework for any continuous patience-level distribution.

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