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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2014, Article ID 247248, 9 pages
Research Article

Dimension-Specific Efficiency Measurement Using Data Envelopment Analysis

Institute of Command and Information Systems, PLA University of Science and Technology, Nanjing 210007, China

Received 26 October 2014; Revised 6 December 2014; Accepted 6 December 2014; Published 25 December 2014

Academic Editor: Wei-Chiang Hong

Copyright © 2014 Hongjun Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Data envelopment analysis (DEA) is a powerful tool for evaluating and improving the performance of a set of decision-making units (DMUs). Empirically, there are usually many DMUs exhibiting “efficient” status in multi-input multioutput situations. However, it is not appropriate to assert that all efficient DMUs have equivalent performances. Actually, a DMU can be evaluated to be efficient as long as it performs best in a single dimension. This paper argues that an efficient DMU of a particular input-output proportion has its own specialty and may also perform poorly in some dimensions. Two DEA-based approaches are proposed to measure the dimension-specific efficiency of DMUs. One is measuring efficiency in multiplier-form by further processing the original multiplier DEA model. The other is calculating efficiency in envelopment-form by comparing with an ideal DMU. The proposed approaches are applied to 26 supermarkets in the city of Nanjing, China, which have provided new insights on efficiency for the managers.