Queueing Systems

, Volume 85, Issue 1–2, pp 173–209 | Cite as

Two-day appointment scheduling with patient preferences and geometric arrivals

  • Yu Zhang
  • Vidyadhar G. Kulkarni


We consider an appointment system where the patients have preferences about the appointment days. A patient may be scheduled on one of the days that is acceptable to her, or be denied appointment. The patient may or may not show up at the appointed time. The net cost is a convex function of the actual number of patients served on a given day. We study the optimal scheduling policy that minimizes the long-run average cost and study its structural properties. We advocate an index policy, which is easy to implement, performs well in comparison with other heuristic policies, and is close to the optimal policy.


Markov Decision Processes Index policies Appointment scheduling Patient preferences 

Mathematics Subject Classification

60J05 90B22 



We would like to thank Professor Onno Boxma for his valuable comments on the initial draft. We also want to thank the referees for their careful reading of the paper and extremely useful suggestions that, we believe, have made the paper more readable and more rigorous.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Statistics and Operations ResearchUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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