Scheduling Policies for an Antiterrorist Surveillance System
Lin, Kyle Y.
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This paper concerns scheduling policies in a surveillance system aimed at detecting a terrorist attack in time. Terrorist suspects arriving at a public area are subject to continuous monitoring, while a surveillance team takes their biometric signatures and compares them with records stored in a terrorist database. Because the surveillance team can screen only one terrorist suspect at a time, the team faces a dynamic scheduling problem among the suspects. We build a model consisting of an M/G/1 queue with two types of customers--red and white--to study this problem. Both types of customers are impatient, but the reneging time distributions are different. The server only receives a reward by serving a red customer, and can use the time a customer has spent in the queue to deduce its likely type. In a few special cases, a simple service rule--such as a first-come-first-serve--is optimal. We explain why the problem is in general different, and develop a heuristic policy motivation by the fact that terrorist attacks tend to be rare events.
Naval Research Logistics (NRL) V. 56, No. 2, pp 113-126.
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