Learning a Discrete Set of Optimal Allocation Rules in Queueing Systems with Unknown Service Rates

4 Feb 2022  ·  Saghar Adler, Mehrdad Moharrami, Vijay Subramanian ·

We study learning-based admission control for a classical Erlang-B blocking system with unknown service rate, i.e., an $M/M/k/k$ queueing system. At every job arrival, a dispatcher decides to assign the job to an available server or to block it. Every served job yields a fixed reward for the dispatcher, but it also results in a cost per unit time of service. Our goal is to design a dispatching policy that maximizes the long-term average reward for the dispatcher based on observing the arrival times and the state of the system at each arrival; critically, the dispatcher observes neither the service times nor departure times. We develop our learning-based dispatch scheme as a parametric learning problem a'la self-tuning adaptive control. In our problem, certainty equivalent control switches between an always admit policy (always explore) and a never admit policy (immediately terminate learning), which is distinct from the adaptive control literature. Our learning scheme then uses maximum likelihood estimation followed by certainty equivalent control but with judicious use of the always admit policy so that learning doesn't stall. We prove that for all service rates, the proposed policy asymptotically learns to take the optimal action. Further, we also present finite-time regret guarantees for our scheme. The extreme contrast in the certainty equivalent optimal control policies leads to difficulties in learning that show up in our regret bounds for different parameter regimes. We explore this aspect in our simulations and also follow-up sampling related questions for our continuous-time system.

PDF Abstract
No code implementations yet. Submit your code now



  Add Datasets introduced or used in this paper

Results from the Paper

  Submit results from this paper to get state-of-the-art GitHub badges and help the community compare results to other papers.


No methods listed for this paper. Add relevant methods here