Category Archive: Frequently Asked Question


Introduced by Banker, Chames and Cooper (1984), this model measures technical efficiency as the convexity constraint ensures that the composite unit is of similar scale size as the unit being measured. The resulting efficiency is always at least equal to the one given by the CCR model, and those DMUs with the lowest input or …

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These are the unknowns in the primal model that determine the importance attributed to each factor. Since the value assigned to each weight depends on the measurement scale of the factor itself, it is difficult to compare the weights from different factors.

Technical efficiency

An efficiency measure that ignores the impact of scale-size by comparing a DMU only to other units of similar scale. Technical efficiency is computed using the BCC model. Overall efficiency is sometimes referred to as technical efficiency as closely follows the concept of technical efficiency developed by Farrell (1957), which technical efficiency as defined here, …

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Nondiscretionary factor

Same as exogenously fixed factor.


An input or output factor. Since these are always known beforehand, their values are actually constants.

Piecewise linearity

An efficiency frontier is piecewise linear when the underlying production function is approximated through interconnected linear segments. The basic DEA models are all piecewise linear. See Chames et al (1981) for implications. [Chames A, Cooper W W and Rhodes E (1981), ‘Evaluating program and managerial efficiency: an application of data envelopment analysis to program follow …

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Ratio models

The CCR and BCC models both define efficiency as a ratio of weighted outputs over weighted inputs, hence they are often known as ratio models.

Reference unit

Any unit that is part of a reference set

Weight Flexibility

As the CCR primal model places no restriction on the weights other than a lower bound of epsilon, it is not rare for a unit to be rated efficient at the expense of having a very uneven distribution of weights where some or most of the factors have been practically ignored. To remedy the situation, …

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Ordinal variable

A factor which consists of a set of predefined values that are ranked in a specific order. An ordinal variable can be seen as a special case of a categorical variable. If the values of an ordinal factor need to be scaled, the inherent order must be preserved (Cook et al 1993). [Cook W, Kress …

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