Switched Poisson Processes and Interrupted Poisson Processes are often employed to characterize traffic streams in distributed computer and communications systems, especially in investigations of overflow processes in telecommunication networks. With these processes, input streams having inter-segment correlations and high variance as well as state-dependent traffic can properly be modelled. In this paper we first derive an approximation method to describe the Generalized Switched Poisson processes in conjunction with a renewal assumption. As a special case of this class of processes, the class of Interrupted Poisson processes is also included in the investigation. As a result, a generalization of the well-known class of Interrupted Poisson processes is obtained. It is shown that the renewal property is also given for this general class of Interrupted Poisson processes having generally distributed off-phase. To illustrate the accuracy of the presented renewal approximation of Generalized Switched Poisson processes and to show the major properties of the General Interrupted Poisson processes, applications to some basic queueing systems are discussed by means of numerical results. © 1988 Physica-Verlag.