Deslauriers, A., L'Ecuyer, P., Pichitlamken, J., Ingolfsson, A. and Avramidis, A.N.
Markov chain models of a telephone call center with call blending.
Computers and Operations Research, 34, (6), . (doi:10.1016/j.cor.2005.06.019).
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Motivated by a Bell Canada call center operating in blend mode,
we consider a system with two types of traffic and two types of agents. Outbound calls are served only by blend agents, whereas inbound calls can be served by either inbound-only or blend agents. Inbound callers may balk or abandon.
There are several performance measures of interest, including the rate of outbound calls and the proportion of inbound calls waiting more than some fixed number of seconds. We present a collection of continuous-time Markov chain (CTMC) models which capture many real-world characteristics while maintaining parsimony that results in fast computation. We discuss and explore the tradeoffs between model fidelity and efficacy and compare our different CTMC models with a realistic simulation model of a Bell Canada call center, used as a benchmark.
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