REDUCING LETTER DELAYS IN POST OFFICES
CALIFORNIA UNIV BERKELEY OPERATIONS RESEARCH CENTER
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This paper reports a group of mathematical models and experiments which have been designed for the analysis and evaluation of delays of first- class letter mail in a post office. The flow pattern of mail consists of a number of serial and parallel processing stages. A let er tak s a particular path through this flow network which depends on its final destination consequently, the delay of letter mail depends on it addr ss as well as the i ven ori of oth r mail and the processing rates met enroute While mail flow into a post office may contain many random elements, it is generally the case that input rates are predictable and strongly time-dependent. Scheduling policies must take into accou t the peak flows which temporarily exceed available processing rates and, in addition, must observe certain pecifi d restrictions on the cost of processing, sorting and storage operations. The effect of various transportation facilities betwee proc ssing stages and from one post office to a ot er must also b considered. This paper includes a theoretical and nu erical analysis of letter delays as well as a description and valuation of a series of full-scale experime s p rfor d at one of the larger Unit d P O T Office.
- Operations Research