A fuzzy group data envelopment analysis model for high-technology project selection: A case study at NASA

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The assessment and selection of high-technology projects is a difficult decision making process at the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA). This difficulty is due to the multiple and often conflicting objectives in addition to the inherent technical complexities and valuation uncertainties involved in the assessment process. As such, a systematic and transparent decision making process is needed to guide the assessment process, shape the decision outcomes and enable confident choices to be made. Various methods have been proposed to assess and select high-technology projects. However, applying these methods has become increasingly difficult in the space industry because there are many emerging risks implying that decisions are subject to significant uncertainty. The source of uncertainty can be vagueness or ambiguity. While vague data are uncertain because they lack detail or precision, ambiguous data are uncertain because they are subject to multiple interpretations. We propose a data envelopment analysis (DEA) model with ambiguity and vagueness. The vagueness of the objective functions is modeled by means of multi-objective fuzzy linear programming. The ambiguity of the input and output data is modeled with fuzzy sets and a new α-cut based method. The proposed models are linear, independent of α-cut variables, and capable of maximizing the satisfaction level of the fuzzy objectives and efficiency scores, simultaneously. Moreover, these models are capable of generating a common set of multipliers for all projects in a single run. A case study involving high-technology project selection at NASA is used to demonstrate the applicability of the proposed models and the efficacy of the procedures and algorithms.




Tavana, M., Khalili-Damghani, K. and Sadi-Nezhad, S. (2013) ‘A Fuzzy Group Data Envelopment Analysis Model for High-Technology Project Selection: A Case Study at NASA,’ Computers and Industrial Engineering, Vol. 66, No. 1, pp. 10-23.