First passage times to congested states of many-server systems in the Halfin-Whitt regime

B.H. Fralix, C. Knessl, J.S.H. Leeuwaarden, van

We consider the heavy-traffic approximation to the $GI/M/s$ queueing system in the Halfin-Whitt regime, where both the number of servers $s$ and the arrival rate $\lambda$ grow large (taking the service rate as unity), with $\lambda=s-\beta\sqrt{s}$ and $\beta$ some constant. In this asymptotic regime, the queue length process can be approximated by a diffusion process that behaves like a Brownian motion with drift above zero and like an Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process below zero. We analyze the first passage times of this hybrid diffusion process to levels in the state space that represent congested states in the original queueing system.