IDEA and AR-IDEA: models for dealing with imprecise data in DEA. (English) Zbl 1231.90289

Summary: Data envelopment analysis (DEA) is a nonparametric approach to evaluating the relative efficiency of decision making units (DMUs) that use multiple inputs to produce multiple outputs. An assumption underlying DEA is that all the data assume the form of specific numerical values. In some applications, however, the data may be imprecise. For instance, some of the data may be known only within specified bounds, while other data may be known only in terms of ordinal relations. DEA with imprecise data or, more compactly, the Imprecise data envelopment analysis (IDEA) method developed in this paper permits mixtures of imprecisely- and exactly-known data, which the IDEA models transform into ordinary linear programming forms. This is carried even further in the present paper to comprehend the now extensively employed assurance region (AR) concepts in which bounds are placed on the variables rather than the data. We refer to this approach as AR-IDEA, because it replaces conditions on the variables with transformations of the data and thus also aligns the developments we describe in this paper with what are known as cone-ratio envelopments in DEA. As a result, one unified approach, referred to as the AR-IDEA model, is achieved which includes not only imprecise data capabilities but also assurance region and cone-ratio envelopment concepts.


90C05 Linear programming


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