A basic process of simple queueing theory is S(t), an integer valued stochastic process which represents the “number of clients present, including the one in service” at epoch t. The queueing context physically limits S(t) to non-negative values, but if this impenetrable barrier is removed thereby permitting S(t) to assume negative values as well, we have a “randomized random walk” in which S(t) represents the position at time t of a mythical particle which moves on the x-axis according to the rules of the walk. The nomenclature “randomized random walk” is due to Feller (1966a). S(t) changes by unit positive or negative amounts, and our basic assumption is that the time intervals τ/σ separating successive positive/negative steps are i.i.d. with continuous d.f.'s. A(t)/B(t) (A(0)/B(0) = 0) possessing p.d.f.'s. a(t)/b(t): τ and σ are further assumed to be statistically independent. When A(t) = 1 – e–λt
and B(t) = 1 – e–μt
, we have a generalization of the M/M/1 queueing process which we shall denote by M/M. The walk generated by A(t) = 1 – e–λt
and B(t) arbitrary may similarly be denoted by M/G. For G/M we clearly mean A(t) arbitrary and B(t) = 1 – e–μt
. M/M has received extensive treatment elsewhere (cf. Feller (1966a), (1966b); Takács (1967); Gibson (1968); Conolly (1971)), and will not be considered here. Our interest centers on certain aspects of M/G and G/M, but since each is the dual of the other (loosely, G/M is M/G “upside down”) it is sufficient to restrict attention to one of them, as convenient; pointing out, where necessary, the interpretation in terms of the other.