Fluid and queueing networks with Gurvich-type routing
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Queueing networks have applications in a wide range of domains, from call center management to telecommunication networks. Motivated by a healthcare application, in this dissertation, we analyze a class of queueing and fluid networks with an additional routing option that we call Gurvich-type routing. The networks we consider include parallel buffers, each associated with a different class of entity, and Gurvich-type routing allows to control the assignment of an incoming entity to one of the classes. In addition to routing, scheduling of entities is also controlled as the classes of entities compete for service at the same station. A major theme in this work is the investigation of the interplay of this routing option with the scheduling decisions in networks with various topologies. The first part of this work focuses on a queueing network composed of two parallel buffers. We form a Markov decision process representation of this system and prove structural results on the optimal routing and scheduling controls. Via these results, we determine a near-optimal discrete policy by solving the associated fluid model along with perturbation expansions. In the second part, we analyze a single-station fluid network composed of N parallel buffers with an arbitrary N. For this network, along with structural proofs on the optimal scheduling policies, we show that the optimal routing policies are threshold-based. We then develop a numerical procedure to compute the optimal policy for any initial state. The final part of this work extends the analysis of the previous part to tandem fluid networks composed of two stations. For two different models, we provide results on the optimal scheduling and routing policies.