On the guaranteed throughput and efficiency of closed re-entrant lines

James R. Morrison, P. R. Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


A closed network is said to be "guaranteed efficient" if the throughput converges under all non-idling policies to the capacity of the bottlenecks in the network, as the number of trapped customers increases to infinity. We obtain a necessary condition for guaranteed efficiency of closed re-entrant lines. For balanced two-station systems, this necessary condition is almost sufficient, differing from it only by the strictness of an inequality. This near characterization is obtained by studying a special type of virtual station called "alternating visit virtual station". These special virtual stations allow us to relate the necessary condition to certain indices arising in heavy traffic studies using a Brownian network approximation, as well as to certain policies proposed as being extremal with respect to the asymptotic loss in the throughput. Using the near characterization of guaranteed efficiency we also answer the often pondered question of whether an open network or its closed counterpart has greater throughput - the answer is that neither can assure a greater guaranteed throughput.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-54
Number of pages22
JournalQueueing Systems
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - May 1998


  • Closed networks
  • Efficiency
  • Queueing networks
  • Stability
  • Throughput


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