DailyDirt: Waiting In Line Isn't Fun

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Queuing theory is a subset of applied math that looks into the behavior of waiting in line and algorithms that optimize various aspects of this particular kind of resource allocation. Retailers of all kinds are interested in this kind of math because it can improve customer satisfaction and get more products out the door. Apple reduces long cashier lines with employees who can accept payments anywhere in its stores. Fry's Electronics has the giant single line that feeds into a massive array of cashiers (aka the serpentine line). There are self-checkout lanes at the grocery store, but there's no silver bullet to eliminate waiting in lines. Here are just a few more links on this problem of civilization. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

Filed Under: algorithms, boarding, cashiers, fastpass, jason steffen, math, optimization, planes, queuing theory, serpentine line, waiting
Companies: disney, southwest

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  1. icon
    vegetaman (profile), 4 Aug 2014 @ 7:34pm

    Ugh, nothing is worse in the checkout lane at the store than the person who decides they're going to pay by check... Only, they just heard their total, and NOW they start looking for their checkbook. Rather than, you know, filling everything out but the total ahead of time... Or even just having it in hand ready to go! I'm the type of guy who usually shops without a cart and only has 2 or 3 items in hand that I specifically came in for, and this drives me crazy. Express lanes are the greatest myth of all time!

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