Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Jeffrey P. Kharoufeh, PhD


This dissertation investigates stability conditions and approximate steady-state performance measures for unreliable, single-server retrial queues operating in a randomly evolving environment. In such systems, arriving customers that find the server busy or failed join a retrial queue from which they attempt to regain access to the server at random intervals. Such models are useful for the performance evaluation of communications and computer networks which are characterized by time-varying arrival, service and failure rates. To model this time-varying behavior, we study systems whose parameters are modulated by a finite Markov process. Two distinct cases are analyzed. The first considers systems with Markov-modulated arrival, service, retrial, failure and repair rates assuming all interevent and service times are exponentially distributed. The joint process of the orbit size, environment state, and server status is shown to be a tri-layered, level-dependent quasi-birth-and-death (LDQBD) process, and we provide a necessary and sufficient condition for the positive recurrence of LDQBDs using classical techniques. Moreover, we apply efficient numerical algorithms, designed to exploit the matrix-geometric structure of the model, to compute the approximate steady-state orbit size distribution and mean congestion and delay measures. The second case assumes that customers bring generally distributed service requirements while all other processes are identical to the first case. We show that the joint process of orbit size, environment state and server status is a level-dependent, M/G/1-type stochastic process. By employing regenerative theory, and exploiting the M/G/1-type structure, we derive a necessary and sufficient condition for stability of the system. Finally, for the exponential model, we illustrate how the main results may be used to simultaneously select mean time customers spend in orbit, subject to bound and stability constraints.

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