Agner Krarup Erlang

Agner Krarup Erlang

Infobox Person
name = Agner Krarup Erlang


image_size = 200px
caption =
birth_date = January 1, 1878
birth_place = Lonborg, Denmark
death_date = February 3, 1929
death_place =
occupation = mathematician, statistician, and engineer
spouse =
parents =
children =

Agner Krarup Erlang (January 1, 1878–February 3, 1929) was a Danish mathematician, statistician and engineer, who invented the fields of traffic engineering and queueing theory.

Life

Erlang was born at Lonborg (Lønborg), near Tarm, in Jutland. He was the son of a schoolmaster, and a descendant of Thomas Fincke on his mother's side. He demonstrated his potential at an early age by being able to read books upside down. At age 14, he passed the Preliminary Examination of the University of Copenhagen with distinction, after receiving dispensation to take it because he was younger than the usual minimum age. For the next two years he taught alongside his father.

A distant relative provided free board and lodging, and Erlang prepared for and took the University of Copenhagen entrance examination in 1896, and passed with distinction. He won a scholarship to the University and majored in mathematics, and also studied astronomy, physics and chemistry. He graduated in 1901 with an MA and later taught at several schools over the next 7 years including the Milton House School of Statistics and the St John's Centre for Resource Planning. He maintained his interest in mathematics, and received an award for a paper that he submitted to the University of Copenhagen.

He was a member of the Danish Mathematicians' Association (TBMI) and through this met amateur mathematician Johan Jensen, the Chief Engineer of the Copenhagen Telephone Company ( KTAS in Danish), an offshoot of the International Bell Telephone Company. Erlang worked for the CTC (KTAS) from 1908 for almost 20 years, until his death in Copenhagen after an abdominal operation.

He was an associate of the British Institution of Electrical Engineers.

Contributions

While working for the CTC, Erlang was presented with the classic problem of determining how many circuits were needed to provide an acceptable telephone service. His thinking went further by finding how many telephone operators were needed to handle a given volume of calls. Most telephone exchanges then used human operators and cord boards to switch telephone calls by means of jack plugs.

Out of necessity, Erlang was a hands-on researcher. He would conduct measurements and was prepared to climb into street manholes to do so. He famously said that this was a "no brainer."Fact|date=April 2008 He was also an expert in the history and calculation of the numerical tables of mathematical functions, particularly logarithms. He devised new calculation methods for certain forms of tables.

He developed his theory of telephone traffic over several years. His significant publications include:
* In 1909 - "The Theory of Probabilities and Telephone Conversations" - which proves that the Poisson distribution applies to random telephone traffic.
* In 1917 - "Solution of some Problems in the Theory of Probabilities of Significance in Automatic Telephone Exchanges" - which contains his classic formulae for loss and waiting time.

These and other notable papers were translated into English, French and German. His papers were prepared in a very brief style and can be difficult to understand without a background in the field. One researcher from Bell Telephone Laboratories is said to have learned Danish to study them.

The British Post Office accepted his formula as the basis for calculating circuit facilities.

A unit of measurement, statistical distribution and programming language listed below have been named in his honour.

ee also

* Erlang - a unit of communication activity
* Erlang distribution - a statistical probability distribution
* Erlang programming language - developed by Ericsson for large industrial real-time systems
* Queueing theory
* Teletraffic engineering

External links

* E. Brockmeyer, H.L. Halstrøm and Arne Jensen [http://oldwww.com.dtu.dk/teletraffic/Erlang.html "The Life and Works of A.K. Erlang"] , (Collected works of A. K. Erlang)
*
* [http://pass.maths.org.uk/issue2/erlang/index.html Biography - from Millennium Mathematics Project]
* [http://www.xycoon.com/erlang.htm Erlang Distribution]
* [http://dmi.uib.es/~loren/docencia/webxtel/bibliografia/Erlang%20B%20&%20C.pdf An Introduction to Erlang B and Erlang C by Ian Angus] (PDF Document - Has terms and formulae plus biography)
* [http://runeberg.org/matetids/1920b/0029.html "Telefon-Ventetider. Et Stykke Sandsynlighedsregning"] , in "Matematisk Tidsskrift", B, 1920 (a paper on telephone waiting times, in Danish, digitized by Project Runeberg)


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  • Agner Krarup Erlang — (* 1. Januar 1878 in Lonborg, Dänemark; † 3. Februar 1929 in Kopenhagen) war ein dänischer Mathematiker und Ingenieur. Er machte sich unter anderem Gedanken über Warteschlangenprobleme in der Telef …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Agner Krarup Erlang — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Erlang. A. K. Erlang (1er janvier 1878 3  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Agner Krarup Erlang — Contenido 1 Biografía 2 Contribuciones …   Wikipedia Español

  • Erlang c — ist ein synonymer Ausdruck für ein Warteschlangenmodell, das vom dänischen Mathematiker Agner Krarup Erlang am Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts entwickelt wurde, um die Wahrscheinlichkeit und die mittlere Dauer von Wartezeiten bei der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Erlang (Unité) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Erlang. En télécommunication, l erlang est une unité de mesure d intensité du trafic téléphonique, mise au point par Agner Krarup Erlang. L erlang mesure le nombre de sessions de communication et leurs durées sur …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Erlang (unite) — Erlang (unité) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Erlang. En télécommunication, l erlang est une unité de mesure d intensité du trafic téléphonique, mise au point par Agner Krarup Erlang. L erlang mesure le nombre de sessions de communication et… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Erlang (programming language) — Erlang Paradigm(s) multi paradigm: concurrent, functional Appeared in 1986 Designed by Ericsson …   Wikipedia

  • Erlang (Programmiersprache) — Erlang Funktionale Programmiersprache Basisdaten Paradigmen: Funktionale Programmiersprache, Nebenläufige Programmierung …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Erlang C — ist ein synonymer Ausdruck für ein Warteschlangenmodell, das vom dänischen Mathematiker Agner Krarup Erlang am Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts entwickelt wurde, um die Wahrscheinlichkeit und die mittlere Dauer von Wartezeiten bei der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Erlang — bezeichnet: Agner Krarup Erlang (1878–1929), dänischer Mathematiker und Ingenieur eine Pseudomaßeinheit für die Verkehrsbelastung von Netzwerkleitungen, siehe Erlang (Einheit) ein Warteschlangenmodell, siehe Erlang C bzw. Erlang B eine… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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