Dynamics of a two-level system with priorities and application to an emergency call center

Abstract : In this thesis, we analyze the dynamics of discrete event systems with synchronization and priorities, by the means of Petri nets and queueing networks.We apply this to the performance evaluation of an emergency call center.Our original motivation is practical. During the period of this work, a new emergency call center became operative in Paris area, handling emergency calls to police and firemen.The new organization includes a two-level call treatment. A first level of operators answers calls, identifies urgent calls and handles (numerous) non-urgent calls.Second level operators are specialists (policemen or firemen) and handle emergency demands.When a call is identified at level 1 as extremely urgent, the operator stays in line with the call until a level 2 operator answers. The call has priority for level 2 operators.A consequence of this procedure is that, when level 2 operators are busy, level 1 operators wait with extremely urgent calls, and the capacity of level 1 diminishes.We are interested in the performance evaluation of various systems corresponding to this general description, in stressed situations.We propose three different models addressing this kind of systems.The first two are timed Petri net models.We enrich the classical free choice Petri nets by allowing conflict situations in which the routing is solved by priorities.The main difficulty in this situation is that the operator of the dynamics becomes non monotone.In a first model, we consider discrete dynamics for this class of Petri nets, with constant holding times on places.We prove that the counter variables of an execution of the Petri net are solutions of a piecewise linear system with delays.As far as we know, this proof is new, even for the class of free choice nets, which is a subclass of ours.We investigate the stationary regimes of the dynamics, and characterize the affine ones as solutions of a piecewise linear system, which can be seen as a system over a tropical (min-plus) semifield of germs.Numerical experiments show that, however, convergence does not always holds towards these affine stationary regimes.The second model is a ``continuization'' of the previous one. For the same class of Petri nets, we propose dynamics expressed by differential equations, so that the tokens and time events become continue.For this differential system with discontinuous righthandside, we establish the existence and uniqueness of the solution.By using differential equations, we aim at obtaining a simpler model in which discrete time pathologies disappear. We show that the stationary regimes are the same as the stationary regimes of the discrete time dynamics.Numerical experiments tend to show that, in this setting, convergence effectively holds.We also model the emergency call center described above as a queueing system, taking into account the randomness of the different call center variables.For this system, we prove that, under an appropriate scaling, the dynamics converges to a fluid limit which corresponds to the differential equations of our Petri net model.This provides support for the second model.Stochastic calculus for Poisson processes, generalized Skorokhod formulations and coupling arguments are the main tools used to establish this convergence.Hence, our three models of an identical emergency call center yield the same schematic asymptotic behavior, expressed as a piecewise linear system of the parameters, and describing the different congestion phases of the system.In a second part of this thesis, simulations are carried out and analyzed, taking into account the many subtleties of our case study (for example, we construct probability distributions based on real data analysis).The simulations confirm the schematic behavior described by our mathematical models.We also address the complex interactions coming from the heterogeneous nature of level 2.
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Vianney Boeuf. Dynamics of a two-level system with priorities and application to an emergency call center. Optimization and Control [math.OC]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017SACLX120⟩. ⟨tel-01712811⟩

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