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"Booking System for Demonstration Cameras." O. N. Akinyokun. J. Wilson. Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde. 2014. Download PDF (BibTeX) MSc Advanced Computer Science

Fundamentally, booking systems are required to have the functionality to manage requests made by different users to access certain resources within a timeslot, in a way that optimises the overall usage of these resources and without conflicts in allocated timeslots. In order to effectively coordinate access to these resources, there is always need to implement scheduling.
Currently, the two different approaches that have been explored by researchers to solve this problem of finding optimal methods to allocate constrained resources are booking and queuing. Booking typically allows a user to reserve a timeslot in advance and this has the advantage of providing the user with guaranteed access at a known time. On the other hand, with queuing, when users makes a request to access a resource, they are added to a queue and as soon as that resource becomes available, it is allocated to the user at the front of the queue based on a First Come, First Served scheduling policy. This helps to maximise resource utilisation because resources are allocated to waiting users as soon as they become available. However, while these scheduling approaches and their various hybrids have been implemented and described in resource scheduling research literatures, there has been no justification for the most suitable approach to scheduling and most importantly, little is known about the advantages and disadvantages of integrating both approaches.
To this end, this research aims to further investigate and explore how queue based and booking based scheduling can be effectively integrated into a hybrid approach to improve resource utilisation in the context of online booking systems, whilst considering the issues that may arise when a system uses both approaches for scheduling.
The method used to achieve this involved the implementation of an experimental web based booking system that allow customers to book cameras for a particular timeslot. The system was primarily evaluated by using load tests to determine the problems that resulted from integrating booking and queuing. Based on the results of these tests, booking was found to be more efficient in optimising resource usage and decreasing waiting times, although this depended on a number of factors such as the scheduling algorithm, the number of concurrent users, and the usage duration of each virtual user.