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Simulating the Waiting‐line Problem: A Spreadsheet Application

Taqi N. Al‐Faraj (King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)
Abdulaziz S. Alidi (King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)
Jamal A. Al‐Zayer (King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)
C. Kenneth Jones (King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 1 February 1991

Abstract

Spreadsheet software is now widely used as a decision‐making tool, owing to the simplicity and ease with which generalists can analyse and obtain fast and precise information. Through spreadsheet programs, a non‐specialist can conduct an exhaustive “what if” search in order to make decisions regarding “what if” questions. Now, with the availability of a random number function in most spreadsheet programs, simulation models can be carried out within the spreadsheet. How the waiting‐line problem can be simulated using a spreadsheet package is demonstrated. The simulation process serves as a decision‐support system to assist decision makers to determine the appropriate service level based on number of servers. Arrival of customers to obtain service is stochastic in nature and therefore can be assigned a probability distribution using historical data. Through the random‐number function, which is available in most spreadsheet programs, random numbers can be generated and used along with the assigned probability distribution to assist in making the service‐level decision.

Keywords

Citation

Al‐Faraj, T.N., Alidi, A.S., Al‐Zayer, J.A. and Jones, C.K. (1991), "Simulating the Waiting‐line Problem: A Spreadsheet Application", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 49-53. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443579110142765

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1991, MCB UP Limited