quantitative reasoning, operational research, multicriteria decision making, Data Envelopment Analysis, Perfect Object, Olympic Games team winner, environmental efficiency


This paper introduces a simplified version of Data Envelopment Analysis - a conventional approach to evaluating the performance and ranking of competitive objects characterized by two groups of factors acting in opposite directions: inputs and outputs. Examples of DEA applications discussed in this paper include the London 2012 Olympic Games and the dynamics of the United States’ environmental performance. In the first example, we find a team winner and rank the teams; in the second, we analyze the dynamics of CO2 emissions adjusted to the gross domestic product, population, and energy consumption. Adding a virtual Perfect Object – one having the greatest outputs and smallest inputs - we greatly simplify the DEA computational procedure by eliminating the Linear Programming algorithm. Simplicity of computations makes the suggested approach attractive for educational purposes, in particular, for use in Quantitative Reasoning courses.



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