Robust DEA under discrete uncertain data: a case study of Iranian electricity distribution companies


1 Industrial Engineering College, Islamic Azad University, South Tehran Branch, Entezari Alley, Oskoui Alley, Choobi Bridge, 1151863411, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Industrial Engineering, Urmia University of Technology, Band road, 57155-419, Urmia, Iran


Crisp input and output data are fundamentally indispensable in traditional data envelopment analysis (DEA). However, the real-world problems often deal with imprecise or ambiguous data. In this paper, we propose a novel robust data envelopment model (RDEA) to investigate the efficiencies of decision-making units (DMU) when there are discrete uncertain input and output data. The method is based upon the discrete robust optimization approaches proposed by Mulvey et al. (1995) that utilizes probable scenarios to capture the effect of ambiguous data in the case study. Our primary concern in this research is evaluating electricity distribution companies under uncertainty about input/output data. To illustrate the ability of proposed model, a numerical example of 38 Iranian electricity distribution companies is investigated. There are a large amount ambiguous data about these companies. Some electricity distribution companies may not report clear and real statistics to the government. Thus, it is needed to utilize a prominent approach to deal with this uncertainty. The results reveal that the RDEA model is suitable and reliable for target setting based on decision makers (DM’s) preferences when there are uncertain input/output data.