Multiple criteria data envelopment analysis for full ranking units associated to environment impact assessment

Ming Yan Zhao, Chun Tian Cheng, Kwok Wing Chau, Gang Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)


The importance of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) of large development projects is increasingly underlined. Usually, EIA involves a lot of qualitative and quantitative criteria. Data envelopment analysis (DEA), an effective method that is used to rank and select the best alternative from a set of alternatives, is not tailored to address qualitative criteria, thus rendering the application to multiple criteria problems not amenable. This paper presents a new methodology of multiple criteria data envelopment analysis (MCDEA), which can address both qualitative and quantitative criteria. MCDEA is divided into two stages for fully ranking units and each unit has multiple inputs and outputs. In the first stage, a qualitative method is applied to compare the qualitative performance of alternatives. Then, MCDEA is used to rank the alternatives by considering the relative membership degree of qualitative factors as one of the quantitative data. A case study on the selection of dam location illustrates the effectiveness of the proposed methodology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-464
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Environment and Pollution
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2006


  • Environment impact assessment
  • Multiple criteria data envelopment analysis
  • Qualitative method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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