Point Processes and Tandem Queues

November 15, 2010

Now that you have broken the pattern of alternating posts by me and you, I guess the waiting time for the next post on this blog is no longer governed by a tandem queue.  Interesting stuff, by the way.  Although analyzing the waiting times for this blog in particular is too meta, I think a general study of waiting times in social media would be very intriguing.  For example, using that to predict blog death.  Are there any good corpora of blog posts or of tweets or of some such thing?

One factor that seemingly isn’t taken into account in the most basic model of tandem queues is that with two-step interview procedures, there is attrition between the first and second steps.  That is, some people are denied or drop out before moving to the second step.  I know you aren’t a queuing theorist, but maybe you can say more about that wrinkle and how it might affect the distribution.

Speaking of point processes and being at meetings in spirit, let me also mention a presentation at the SfN annual meeting this past weekend on sampling neural spike trains.  The presentation took the ideas in this related paper and focused them specifically on the design of neuroprosthetic devices.

I know some people are waiting to hear about Antarctica, and hopefully it won’t be too much longer.  Though waiting time distributions do give positive probability to really long waits.

Incidentally, you won’t have to wait too much longer for the release of some 2010 U.S. census data, so I’m sure you’ll go crazy with that.  Somehow population data about us is more interesting than population data about birds, no?



  1. There are “tandem queues with loss,” including the one described here, in which the customer drops out of the queue if the buffer of an intermediate stage is full, but yes, there should be models in which the customer can be accepted, rejected, or leave voluntarily between stages.

    I know that a Twitter corpus was used in developing Banter.

    Do you like the meta-ness of the Banter hyperlink?

  2. […] I had foreshadowed, the US Census released its first set of data today: population counts for the several states.  […]

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