I later recalled that I had done the original calculations in Excel a long time ago for the 1998 edition of The Practical Performance Analyst and those diagrams were done in Powerpoint. Such were the authoring tools I had at that time. (blush) Subsequently, those calculations were not reviewed for the 2nd edition in 2011 and the visual mistake was not caught. Following up on the lunchtime discussion, I decided to start from scratch and reproduce the entire argument using the exacting capabilities of Mathematica, instead of Excel.
It turns out that Alain was right. His observation have now been added to the corrigenda page.
Section 4.5.2 Visual Proof shows the instantaneous number N(t) of arrivals and departures at a queueing facility as a function of time t. The difference between the arrival and departure counts (one of the 3 fundamental performance metrics) is shown as the dark blue region in Fig. 4.9
Figure 4.9. Same as the original
The visual proof of Little's law relies on demonstrating that the total blue area calculated using the horizontally oriented rectangles in Fig. 4.10 is the same as that calculated using the vertically oriented rectangles in Fig. 4.11. Even using Mathematica, this is much trickier than it looks.
Figure 4.10: Same as the original diagram but with vertical rectangle boundaries shown
The results for Fig. 4.10 are summarized in Table 4.2.
Table 4.2. Same as the original but explicitly including the zero area of the 5th segment
The total height is exactly 6 units, consistent with Fig. 4.10. The total area is 11.00 units, which is also consistent with the book text. The 2 decimal digits of accuracy is merely for later comparison. Next, we calculate the vertical rectangles in Fig. 4.11.
Figure 4.11. Corrected diagram
The results for Fig. 4.11 are summarized in Table 4.3.
Table 4.3. Corrected values
The total area is also 11.00 units, but the contribution of some vertical rectangles is different from those in the original text. Consequently, the total width is 8.75 time units, not 8.00 time units as shown in the book Table 4.3.
Thanks, Alain. Well spotted!