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Personal profile


“Stochastic networks are a tremendous source of mathematical challenges, and provide powerful paradigms for understanding and designing complex large-scale systems at the heart of society and technology.”

Research profile

Sem Borst has been a (part-time) Full Professor in Stochastic Operations Research in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) since 1998.  His main research interests are in the area of performance evaluation and resource allocation algorithms for large-scale stochastic networks.

A major theme in Sem’s research is to explore how local behavior and interactions affect the dynamics of large-scale stochastic networks on a macroscopic level.  This provides crucial insight for the design of low-complexity resource allocation algorithms, which operate in a distributed fashion, and yet achieve near-optimal performance on a global network scale.

Academic background

Sem Borst received his MSc degree in applied mathematics from the University of Twente in 1990, and his PhD degree from Tilburg University in 1994.  In 1994, he was a visiting scholar at the Statistical Laboratory of the University of Cambridge, England.  In 1995, Sem joined the Mathematics of Networks and Systems research department of Bell Labs in Murray Hill, USA.  In addition to his position at TU/e, he maintains a (part-time) affiliation with Bell Labs.

Sem has published over 190 papers in refereed journals and conference proceedings, and his H-index is 39.  He serves or has served on the editorial boards of several journals, such as ACM Transactions on Modeling and Performance Evaluation of Computing Systems, IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, Mathematical Methods of Operations Research and Queueing Systems, and served as program committee member of various conferences. 

Affiliated with

  • LNMB (Dutch Network on the Mathematics of Operations Research)
  • STAR (Stochastics – Theoretical and Applied Research)
  • IFIP WG 7.3 on Computer Performance Modeling and Analysis

Partners in (semi-)industry

  • Nokia
  • Philips
  • TNO


External positions


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Research Output

Nonconcave utility maximization in locally coupled systems, with applications to wireless and wireline networks

Borst, S. C., Markakis, M. G. & Saniee, I., 2014, In : IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking. 22, 2, p. 674-687 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • 17 Citations (Scopus)
    3 Downloads (Pure)

    Distributed caching algorithms for content distribution networks

    Borst, S. C., Gupta, V. & Walid, A., 2010, Proceedings 29th IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications (INFOCOM 2010, San Diego CA, USA, March 15-19, 2010). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, p. 1-9

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

  • 408 Citations (Scopus)
    1 Downloads (Pure)

    User-level performance of channel-aware scheduling algorithms in wireless data networks

    Borst, S. C., 2005, In : IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking. 13, 3, p. 636-647

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • 167 Citations (Scopus)
    2 Downloads (Pure)

    Dimensioning large call centers

    Borst, S. C., Mandelbaum, A. & Reiman, M. I., 2004, In : Operations Research. 52, 1, p. 17-34

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    179 Citations (Scopus)

    Delta probing policies for redundancy

    Raaijmakers, Y., Borst, S. C. & Boxma, O. J., 25 Jan 2019, In : Performance Evaluation Review. 46, 3, p. 72-73 2 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleAcademicpeer-review

  • 1 Downloads (Pure)



    M.T. de Berg (Recipient), S.C. Borst (Recipient), O.J. Boxma (Recipient), R.W. van der Hofstad (Recipient), A.M.J. Koonen (Recipient), J.S.H. van Leeuwaarden (Recipient) & G. Woeginger (Recipient), 2014

    Prize: NWOGravitationScientific

  • Courses

    Queueing systems

    1/09/13 → …


    Stochastic networks

    1/09/15 → …


    Stochastic processes

    1/09/13 → …


    Stochastic processes

    1/09/13 → …


    Press / Media

    Profile of Sem Borst Member of Technical Staff of Bell Labs

    S.C. Borst


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    ACM sigmetrics 2015

    Sem C. Borst & A.P. (Bert) Zwart


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    Student theses

    An extension of join-the-shortest-queue(d): a fluid limit approach

    Author: Arts, J. J., 2 Apr 2019

    Supervisor: van der Boor, M. (Supervisor 1) & Borst, S. (Supervisor 2)

    Student thesis: Bachelor


    Capacity management for packet-switched networks with heterogeneous sources

    Author: de Jonge, L., 31 Aug 2009

    Supervisor: Roijers, F. (External person) (Supervisor 1), Borst, S. (Supervisor 2) & Löpker, A. (Supervisor 2)

    Student thesis: Master


    Distributed control of light networks

    Author: Mathijsen, B., 2011

    Supervisor: van Leeuwaarden, J. (Supervisor 1), Borst, S. (Supervisor 2) & Denteneer, T. (. (External person) (Supervisor 2)

    Student thesis: Bachelor


    Efficient job assignment in cloud system

    Author: Lassche, E., 2016

    Supervisor: Borst, S. (Supervisor 1)

    Student thesis: Bachelor


    Entropy of hidden Markov models

    Author: van Wijk, A., 30 Nov 2007

    Supervisor: Verbitskiy, E. A. (External person) (External coach), Rietman, R. (External person) (External coach), van der Hofstad, R. (Supervisor 1) & Borst, S. (Supervisor 2)

    Student thesis: Master