Slot Machines and Slot Recommenders


A slot is a position on an airline schedule that allows it to fly during times when air traffic is constrained. These slots are a form of air traffic management allocation and are awarded on the basis of demand, runway capacity, airport safety and other factors. Airlines that wish to expand their flight operations can purchase new slots, or can trade them with other carriers.

A Slot receiver is a wide receiver who lines up close to the middle of the field, typically a few steps off the line of scrimmage. Because of their positioning and the defensive positions they often face, Slot receivers must have quick change-of-direction skills to beat coverage. They also need to block (or chip) nickelbacks, outside linebackers and safeties on running plays. On some plays, a Slot receiver may also act as the ball carrier — this requires him to be fast enough to avoid being jammed at the line of scrimmage.

In a slot machine, players insert cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, paper tickets with barcodes into a designated slot to activate the machine and begin spinning reels. If winning combinations line up on a payline, the player earns credits based on the payout table. The payout table lists symbols and their values, along with the probability of winning each symbol. The pay table is displayed on the machine’s screen, or in a help menu on video machines.

The slot recommender analyzes the historical usage of each resource and buckets it into percentiles. It then compares the bucketed usage against on-demand charges to make recommendations for reducing costs.