Cooperative Dynamics of Loyal Customers in Queueing Networks
We consider queueing networks (QN) with feedback loops roamed by ``intelligent'' agents, able to select their routing on the basis of their measured waiting times at the QN nodes. This is an idealized model to discuss the dynamics of customers who stay loyal to a service supplier, provided their service time remains below a critical threshold. For these QN's, we show that the traffic flows may exhibit collective patterns typically encountered in multi-agent systems. In simple network topologies, the emergent cooperative behaviors manifest themselves via stable macroscopic temporal oscillations, synchronization of the queue contents and stabilization by noise phenomena. For a wide range of control parameters, the underlying presence of the law of large numbers enables us to use deterministic evolution laws to analytically characterize the cooperative evolution of our multi-agent systems. In particular, we study the case where the servers are sporadically subject to failures altering their ordinary behavior.