We consider a scheduling problem for a two-hop queueing network where the queues have randomly varying connectivity. Customers arrive at the source queue and are later routed to multiple relay queues. A relay queue can be served only if it is in connected state, and the state changes randomly over time. The source queue and relay queues are served in a time-sharing manner; that is, only one customer can be served at any instant. We propose Join the Shortest Queue-Longest Connected Queue (JSQ-LCQ) policy as follows: (1) if there exist nonempty relay queues in connected state, serve the longest queue among them; (2) if there are no relay queues to serve, route a customer from the source queue to the shortest relay queue. For symmetric systems in which the connectivity has symmetric statistics across the relay queues, we show that JSQ-LCQ is strongly optimal, that is, minimizes the delay in the stochastic ordering sense. We use stochastic coupling and show that the systems under coupling exist in two distinct phases, due to dynamic interactions among source and relay queues. By careful construction of coupling in both phases, we establish the stochastic dominance in delay between JSQ-LCQ and any arbitrary policy.
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