Standard Article

Little's Law and Related Results

  1. Ronald W. Wolff

Published Online: 15 FEB 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470400531.eorms0475

Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

How to Cite

Wolff, R. W. 2011. Little's Law and Related Results. Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science. .

Author Information

  1. University of California at Berkeley, Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, Berkeley, California

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 FEB 2011

Abstract

For queues, and similar systems, Little's Law, often written L = λw, states that the time average of the number of customers in system is the product of the arrival rate and the customer average of their waiting times. We treat sample-path and stationary versions of this result and extensions, including H = λG, and a distributional Little's Law. We illustrate how these results are applied and treat the connection between these results and a rate conservation law.

Keywords:

  • time average;
  • customer average;
  • sample path;
  • L = λw;
  • H = λG;
  • RCL