Stability of join-the-shortest-queue networks

J. G. Dai, John J. Hasenbein, Bara Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates stability behavior in a variant of a generalized Jackson queueing network. In our network, some customers use a join-the-shortest-queue policy when entering the network or moving to the next station. Furthermore, we allow interarrival and service times to have general distributions. For networks with two stations we derive necessary and sufficient conditions for positive Harris recurrence of the network process. These conditions involve only the mean values of the network primitives. We also provide counterexamples showing that more information on distributions and tie-breaking probabilities is needed for networks with more than two stations, in order to characterize the stability of such systems. However, if the routing probabilities in the network satisfy a certain homogeneity condition, then we show that the stability behavior can be explicitly determined, again using the mean value parameters of the network. A byproduct of our analysis is a new method for using the fluid model of a queueing network to show non-positive recurrence of a process. In previous work, the fluid model was only used to show either positive Harris recurrence or transience of a network process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-145
Number of pages17
JournalQueueing Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Dec


  • Fluid model
  • Jackson networks
  • Join-the-shortest-queue policy
  • Positive Harris recurrence
  • Stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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