Bits through queues

Venkat Anantharam, Sergio Verdú

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

225 Scopus citations


The Shannon capacity of the single-server queue is analyzed. We show that the capacity is lowest, equal to e-1 nats per average service time, when the service time distribution is exponential. Further, this capacity cannot be increased by feedback. For general service time distributions, upper bounds for the Shannon capacity are determined. The capacities of the telephone signaling channel and of queues with information-hearing packets are also analyzed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-18
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Theory
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


  • Channel capacity
  • Data networks
  • Queueing theory
  • Shannon theory
  • Single-server queue
  • Telephone-signaling channel


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