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Definition: Service Time
A branch of mathematics called queuing theory deals with the metrics associated with steady state performance of the system. Performance is measured by calculating utilization, the mean time in queue, the mean time in system, mean arrival rate, mean service rate.
In queuing system, service time is defines as the time required to serve a customer. The reciprocal of average service time is termed as mean service rate and is defined as number of customers served during a fixed time period. In general terms, service rate can be defined as the capacity of the server or machine in number of units per time period.
A constant service time means that each service takes exactly the same time. This characteristic is generally exhibited in machine controlled operations. When service times are random, they are approximated by the exponential distribution. When using the exponential distribution as an approximation of the service times, it is generally referred to µ as the average number of units or customers that can be served per time period.