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Technological forecasting, Data envelopment analysis


Technology Forecasting using Data Envelopment Analysis (TFDEA) provides an effective means to forecast technological capability over time without the burden of fixed a priori weighting schemes. However, there are situations where result reproduction can be a challenge as first pointed out in a previous Technological Forecasting and Social Change article. When using a commonly used extension of TFDEA, there are circumstances where multiple optimal solutions can complicate analysis. This paper addresses this issue through extending the TFDEA model in a manner consistent with common Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) techniques. The extension is then demonstrated using datasets from previous publications on fighter jet and commercial airplane technology where the issue of multiple optima has been observed. The results indicate that traditional TFDEA may generate varying forecasts depending on the software used, which can be dealt with by introducing a secondary objective function. Therefore, researchers should explicitly state which secondary objective function they are using for the TFDEA applications.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Technological Forecasting and Social Change. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication.

A definitive version was subsequently published in Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 88 (2014) 91–97 and is available online at:



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