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Integration of queuing network and IDEF3 for business process analysis

Ki‐Young Jeong (Engineering Management & Systems Engineering, University of Houston Clear Lake, Houston, Texas, USA)
Hyunbo Cho (Division of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang, Republic of Korea)
Don T. Phillips (Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)

Business Process Management Journal

ISSN: 1463-7154

Article publication date: 25 July 2008




The purpose of this paper is to provide a framework and prototype software to use IDEF3 descriptions as a knowledge base from which a queuing network (QN) analysis is performed to compute system performance measures as part of quick response manufacturing. This intends to help domain experts obtain informative quantitative performance measures such as resource utilization, waiting time, and cycle time without relying on a time consuming simulation approach.


A general open queuing network is used to extract the related resource information from the process knowledge captured by IDEF3 method. The relational database is used to integrate the open QN and IDEF3, which also improves the knowledge reusability. In addition, the performance of the open queuing network analyzer (QNA) is compared to the simulation through case studies.


The domain experts usually do not own much technical modeling knowledge. However, through this integration, it is found that they could obtain several meaningful system performance measures without simulation. They could also perform the diverse “what if” scenario analyses with this prototype without difficulties. It is another finding that the system performance measures generated by the open QNA are reasonably close to the values obtained from simulation, articularly when the system utilization is low.

Research limitations/implications

The open QN analysis used in this integration is not as generic as the simulation approach in terms of the modeling scope and capability. Hence, this integration supports only the exclusive OR (XOR) out of three junctions in IDEF3 grammars.

Practical implications

Some system analysis problems do not require a complex simulation modeling approach. Domain experts need a modeling tool to quickly obtain some system dynamics and insights. This integration framework suffices those requirements.


This paper describes the first attempt to generate informative system performance measures from the IDEF3 model using the open QN. It also offers practical help to the domain experts working in the system analysis area.



Jeong, K., Cho, H. and Phillips, D.T. (2008), "Integration of queuing network and IDEF3 for business process analysis", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 471-482.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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