A novel method for selecting a single efficient unit in data envelopment analysis without explicit inputs/outputs

Mehdi Toloo, Madjid Tavana*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) is a non-parametric technique for evaluating a set of homogeneous decision-making units (DMUs) with multiple inputs and multiple outputs. Various DEA methods have been proposed to rank all the DMUs or to select a single efficient DMU with a single constant input and multiple outputs [i.e., without explicit inputs (WEI)] as well as multiple inputs and a single constant output [i.e., without explicit outputs (WEO)]. However, the majority of these methods are computationally complex and difficult to use. This study proposes an efficient method for finding a single efficient DMU, known as the most efficient DMU, under WEI and WEO conditions. Two compact forms are introduced to determine the most efficient DMU without solving an optimization model under the DEA-WEI and DEA-WEO conditions. A comparative analysis shows a significant reduction in the computational complexity of the proposed method over previous studies. Four numerical examples from different contexts are presented to demonstrate the applicability and exhibit the effectiveness of the proposed compact forms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-681
Number of pages25
JournalAnnals of Operations Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Computational complexity
  • Data envelopment analysis (DEA)
  • Explicit inputs
  • Explicit outputs
  • Most efficient unit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Management Science and Operations Research

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