Recently, the article Design of COVID-19 Testing Queues whose corresponding author is associate professor Wang Zhong-bin from College of Management and Economics (hereafter called CoME) of Tianjin University (TJU) has been accepted by Production and Operations Management, a top international journal of Management Science and Operations Research (UTD-24 Top Business School Journals, hereafter called UTD24) and published online..
This paper was cooperatively finished by 3 people: Luyi Yang, assistant professor at Haas School of Business, University of California-Berkeley, Shiliang Cui, associate professor at McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University and Wang Zhong-bin, associate professor at CoME of TJU. Previously, it has also been nominated for the Finalist of the 2021 INFORMS Service Science Section Best Cluster Paper Award given by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) and won the Second Prize of the Best Conference Paper Award of the 2nd National Conference on Supply Chain and Operation Management in 2021.
In the event of a virus outbreak such as Covid-19, testing is key. However, long waitinglines at testing facilities often discourage individuals from getting tested. This paper uti-lizes queueing-game-theoretic models to study how testing facilities should set schedul-ing and pricing policies to incentivize individuals to test, with the goal to identify themost cases of infection. Our findings are as follows. First, under the first-in-first-outdiscipline (FIFO), the common practice of making testing free attracts the most testeesbut may not catch the most cases. Charging a testing fee may surprisingly increase casedetection. Second, even though people who show symptoms are more likely to carrythe virus, prioritizing these individuals over asymptomatic ones (another common prac-tice) may let more cases go undetected than FIFO testing does. Third, we characterizethe optimal scheduling and pricing policy. To maximize case detection, testing can bemade free but one should also (partially) prioritize individuals with symptoms whentesting demand is high and switch to (partially) prioritize the asymptomatic when test-ing demand is moderately low.
Production and Operations Management (POM) is a top international academic journal of business. Along with OR/MS/MSOM, it is recognized as one of the top four journals in the field of management science and operations management (all four journals belong to UTD24 and Financial Times 50 Journals). Professor Wang's researching interests are operations management, consumer-driven service operations, and supply chain management in platform economy. He joined the CoME of TJU in December 2021 and was appointed as an talented associate professor. During his previous work in the School of Economics of Nankai University (Jan. 2020-Dec. 2021), professor Wang has successively published papers in international top journals such as Management Science and Operations Research, and made some academic progress in the field of queuing economics.
In recent years, CoME of TJU has been adhering to the strict talent introduction mechanism, strengthening the support for the excellent talents and paying efforts to create favorable conditions for talent development, which provides multiple safe guard for the development of young faculty members. Moreover, by focusing on the main battleground of the national economy, guiding the direction of the research and benchmarking with international research frontiers, CoME has laid a solid foundation for continuing to publish articles in international top management journals, which helps to improve its international academic influence and solve Chinese problems.
Professor Zhong-bin Wang Says:
First of all, thanks for the CoME’s care and guidance! CoME provides a good environment for us young faculty to devote ourselves to scientific research. The young faculty members in our collage are all excellent, and the platform built by CoME is getting better and better. I believe that under the sound policy and academic environment of CoME, more high-level scientific research achievements will definitely emerge.
Secondly, I would like to express my appreciation to my collaborators, Shiliang Cui and Luyi Yang. Mr. Shiliang Cui was my supervisor during the joint doctoral training in Georgetown University Business School. With his keen thinking, he could always put forward new views and opinions to me from different perspectives, which benefited me a lot. Professor Lu-yi Yang's research in the field of service operation management is very profound. His strong scientific research ability and rigorous academic attitude have a great influence on me. lt's a great honor for me to work with them.