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An ordered collection of persons or things in which one is serviced after another. For example, persons may form a queue to buy tickets to the cinema. Likewise, an employee may form a list of tasks to be done each day and perform them each in turn. The word queue is most common in Britain and the Commonwealth; the equivalent in American English is waiting line or simply line.
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the build-up of customers who are delayed while waiting for service. Queuing can occur in a retail outlet where shoppers queue at supermarket checkouts or cars queue on petrol station forecourts. Similar queuing problems occur in factories where components queue to be processed on machines.

Variability in the demand for service and the variable time to complete service makes it difficult to judge the level of service to provide for customers. Where numerous service channels are provided, customers will experience few delays even when many customers arrive simultaneously for service. On the other hand, providing numerous service channels involves large labour costs, as in the case of supermarket checkout staff or bank clerks, or large investment in physical facilities, such as tanker berths or airport runways.

Queuing models employing statistical techniques can be used to analyse queues and to balance the cost of resources used to provide service against the cost of the time lost by customers while waiting for service.

These models consider the number of potential customers; the likely rate at which they arrive; whether they arrive singly or in batches; the number of parallel queues; maximum queue length; order of service (first come, first served or prioritized); number of servers; likely service time; and whether customers are served singly or in batches. For complex queues, SIMULATION techniques may be employed to decide the level of service to provide and how to organize the service facilities. See BALK, MULTIPLE CHANNEL-SINGLE PHASE.

Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson
References in periodicals archive ?
Let [S1.sub.enq] and [S1.sub.probe] be S1's enqueue and probe operations respectively.
(1) If a is a leaf node, the for-loop at line 11 enqueues all objects with a distance from q of at least [d.sub.n](q, a) (i.e., at least DIST (QueryObject, Element)).
enqueue (item: T) is require item /= Void; --@-- length < size do .........
Massalin's queue implementation requires CAS (needed for the dequeue operation) and CAS2 (needed for the enqueue operation), and Herlihy's construction requires load-linked and store-conditional.
For example, each request may be assigned a priority by the MM that enqueues it.
All of these have an O(long n) average time for an enqueue followed by a dequeue.
If each bucket contains 100 entries, the enqueue time will be excessive because of the time needed to locate the position in the sorted list at which to enter the new event.
The only difference between this generic buffer package and Buffer Ignore is that entrance procedure Enqueue does not make a conditional call to the buffer task (Buffer IDPs).
The proxy intercepts all web requests and, if the requested item is not locally cached, returns a null response to the browser and enqueues the request in the operation log.
In the thread framework architecture, a connection thread in the ORB Core reads (1) a request from a socket endpoint and enqueues the request on a request queue in the ORB Core (2).
During the search process, BFS repeatedly dequeues the top entry in the queue and enqueues its child nodes with their MINDIST into the queue.
The algorithm enqueues only the promising nodes and discards the nodes which lead to unsuccessful search.

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