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Avishai Mandelbaum (Technion)

"Theompirical (Theoretical & Empirical) Research in the Science, Engineering and Management of Service Systems (Hospitals, Call Centers, Banks, Courts,…)"


I shall describe a personal research journey through service systems (e.g. hospitals, telephone and chat centers, banks, courts,…). I view these systems through MS/IE/OM/OR/DS lenses, often more specifically as a queueing scientist (e.g. “enjoying” congestion and flows), and sometimes using operational characteristics as surrogates for financial, psychological and clinical performance.

Queueing theory is ideally suitable for capturing the operational tradeoff that is at the core of any service: quality vs. efficiency. Through that theory, yet also going beyond it, I seek to parsimoniously (robustly) and valuably portray complex service realities. This entails development and analysis of queueing, fluid, diffusion and simulation models – each with its roles, advantages and limitations.

My ultimate goal is automatic creation, in real-time, of data-based models for service operations – analytical and simulation. The latter will serve as a validation ground for the former, and both will be universally accessible for applications by researchers, students and ultimately practitioners. Prerequisites include, first and foremost, measurements of individual events (e.g. patient-physician transactions), which then support inference of model primitives, structure and protocols. The above goal has been advanced at the Technion SEE Laboratory (SEE = Service Enterprise Engineering).