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A Fluid Flow Model of Networks of Queues

  • Engineering
  • Mathematics


This paper describes a new technique for modeling flow through a network of queues. The advantages of this method over many discrete event simulations or queueing theory techniques include simplicity, low cost and portability. The paper describes the kinds of processes to which the technique can be applied, and the characteristics of the process that can be determined by the resulting model. An example of claims processing in a Social Security Administration's District Office is given. The basis for the technique is to model the information flow by a fluid flow, and then use standard engineering ideas to describe the fluid flow by a system of ordinary differential equations. The system of equations is solved by well-known numerical methods.

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