Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

2001 Edition
| Editors: Saul I. Gass, Carl M. Harris

Data envelopment analysis

  • William W. Cooper
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-0611-X_212


DEA (Data Envelopment Analysis) is a relatively new “data oriented approach” for evaluating the performance of a collection of entities called DMUs (Decision Making Units) which are regarded as responsible for converting inputs into outputs. Examples of its uses have included hospitals and U.S. Air Force Wings, or their subdivisions, such as surgical units and squadrons. The definition of a DMU is generic and flexible. The objective is to identify sources and to estimate amounts of inefficiency in each input and output for every DMU included in a study. Uses that have been accommodated include: (i) discrete periods of production in a plant producing semi-conductors in order to identify when inefficiency occurred; and (ii) marketing regions to which advertising and other sales activities have been directed in order to identify where inefficiency occurred. Inputs as well as outputs may be multiple and each may be measured in different units.

A variety of models have been...
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • William W. Cooper
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA