Motivated by applications in production and computer-communication systems, we study an N-queue polling system, consisting of an inner part and an outer part, and where products receive service in batches. Type-i products arrive at the outer system according to a renewal process and accumulate into a type-i batch. As soon as Di products have accumulated, the batch is forwarded to the inner system where the batch is processed. The service requirement of a type-i batch is independent of its size Di. For this model we study the problem of determining the combination of batch sizes D(opt) that minimizes a weighted sum of the mean waiting times. This model does not allow for an exact analysis. Therefore, we propose a simple closed-form approximation for D(opt), and present a numerical approach, based on the recently-proposed mean waiting-time approximation in . Extensive numerical experimentation shows that the numerical approach is slightly more accurate than the closed-form solution, while the latter provides explicit insights into the dependence of the optimal batch sizes on the system parameters and into the behavior of the system. As a by-product, we observe near-insensitivity properties of D(opt), e.g. to higher moments of the interarrival and switch-over time distributions.
Keywords: Polling systems, renewal arrivals, batch arrivals, optimal batch sizes
|Place of Publication||Eindhoven|
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|