Systematic Pedagogy to Queuing Theory with EXCEL

UNCA Author/Contributor (non-UNCA co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Calum Dodson, Student (Creator)
University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA )
Web Site:
Robert Yearout

Abstract: Over the past ten years, simple and inexpensive operations research and management software that is user friendly to the mentor, student, and instructor has become more difficult to obtain. Emmons, Flowers, Khot, and Mather’s STORM 4.0 for Windows, which is one of the primary student learning tools, is a 16 bit program and will no longer perform efficiently on a 32 or 64 bit system. Therefore it is no longer available. After a diligent search, it appears that there is no adequate, inexpensive, alternative software. Current software such as SAS-Operations Research and Microsoft Project, provide algorithms for queuing theory but are too costly. UNC universities are licensed to use SAS; however SAS-OR is not covered by the agreement. This unique site license would be more than what theuniversity or the Department of Management and Accountancy could afford. This paper presents pedagogy from a systems approach using Microsoft Excel. A spreadsheet file was created that successfully applies queuing theory which is the mathematical algorithm for waiting lines, or queues. Queuing theory has seen contemporaryapplications in the field of telecommunication, traffic engineering, computing and the design of factories, shops, offices and hospitals. Data was collected from a Western North Carolina local bakery and food service business. The arrival times were Poisson and the service times were normally distributed. From this analysis a spreadsheet model was constructed to be used both nationally and internationally. Several different problems were analyzed. These calculations showed that the spreadsheet model was accurate at describing queuing theory dynamics. The majoradvantage to the practitioner, engineer, instructor and student is that Excel is readily available on all personal computers, easily understood, and is very practical. Students with very little exposure to queuing theory will be able to master the method within the first hour of exposure.

Additional Information

UNC Asheville - Journal of Undergraduate Research
Language: English
Date: 2014
operations research and management software, EXCEL, queuing theory

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