Measuring Fitness of Projects, Products and Technologies Using Data Envelopment Analysis

Suggested Citation
George Keller and Konstantinos Triantis (2016), “Measuring Fitness of Projects, Products and Technologies Using Data Envelopment Analysis”, Data Envelopment Analysis Journal: Vol. 2: No. 1, pp 53-79.
Publication Date: 26 Oct 2016
© 2016 G. Keller and K. Triantis
Data envelopment analysis, project evaluation and selection, fitness, fitness landscapes, complex adaptive systems, affordability.


In this article:
1. Introduction
2. Fitness of Technological Systems
3. DEA Production Possibility Set as a Fitness Landscape
4. Case Study: R&D Project Evaluation Using DEA
5. Conclusions


This paper discusses the analogy between the fitness of technological systems and the fitness of complex adaptive biological systems, and suggests that fitness landscapes are an appropriate structure upon which to evaluate technological system affordability, or fitness. This paper introduces Altenberg’s generalized NK fitness landscapes, suggests the possibility that the production possibility set in data envelopment analysis (DEA) is a fitness landscape, and discusses the possible use of DEA to evaluate fitness landscapes and thus the fitness of R&D projects. This paper describes the application of DEA models to evaluate and select DoD Corrosion Prevention and Control (CPC) R&D projects using an appropriate set of input and output fitness function variables to assess the affordability of the projects. The paper also describes the subsequent implementation of the DEA methodology to the DoD Corrosion Prevention and Control R&D project selection program since 2007.


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