Revenue maximization in two-station tandem queueing systems
We study optimal pricing for tandem queueing systems with finite buffers. The service provider dynamically quotes prices to incoming price sensitive customers to maximize the long-run average revenue. We present a Markov decision process model for the optimization problem. For systems with two stations, general-sized buffers, and two or more prices, we describe the structure of the optimal dynamic pricing policy and develop tailored policy iteration algorithms to find an optimal pricing policy. For systems with two stations but no intermediate buffer, we characterize conditions under which quoting either a high or a low price to all customers is optimal and provide an easy-to-implement algorithm to solve the problem. Numerical experiments are conducted to compare the developed algorithms with the regular policy iteration algorithm. The work also discusses possible extensions of the obtained results to both three-station systems and two-station systems with price and congestion sensitive customers using numerical analysis.