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A peek into decision making in service systems

Often due to large waiting times customers abandon shops (online or physical), and owners don't realize that they have left. We call this a loss of opportunity. This is an important concept in queueing theory.

From building a family tree to discovering the suspect of a crime

Between 1973 and 1986 multiple rapes and murders were committed in the state of California. Years later the idea was raised that these crimes might be connected. But traditional DNA analysis from the samples found at the crime scenes, could not identify the culprit.

Trust and other wonderful mistakes humans make

Trust is required when we buy a used car from a personal connection or via-via. When we vote for a politician we trust that they will act in our favour. In this article we will explore how Game Theory is used in attempts to model trust and cooperation.

Distributing work in a network of servers

This article discusses a fun puzzle that illustrates a beautiful open problem in this area: queueing theorists are trying to figure out how the structure of a network impacts its ability to distribute work among the nodes.

Let’s make it on time without wasting time on it

What if I tell you that long queues in airports are also caused by the impatient passengers that arrive too far in advance at the airport? Today, we will analyze how the organization of the security check queue affects the waiting time of passengers.

How do you decide who is the most important?

Imagine you’re in a remote village and only have a limited number of vaccines to distribute to protect the community from a deadly virus, who do you vaccinate?

A difficult decision, but necessary. Assuming that the disease is just as deadly for everyone in the community, the best way to prevent deaths is to contain the spread of the virus.

Why you may need to reconsider your route selection criterium

You have a job interview in 20 minutes and you are in a hurry to arrive at your application in time. To make matters even more stressful, there are many routes to your destination, but you have no idea which one to select. Luckily, you have access to a navigation system that can help you in your route selection process.

The share bike mystery

How is it possible that bikes are so perfectly spread out that they are available from almost anywhere? Who are these bike fairies that distribute them evenly across the city? Continue reading if you like to find out who they are and what type of mathematics is involved.