Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the feasibility of using artificial neural networks (ANNs) in conjunction with data envelopment analysis (DEA) for the performance measurement of major mobile phone providers, and for subsequent predictions related to best performance benchmarking and decision making. Design/methodology/approach – DEA and ANN are combined, providing an integrated modeling approach via a two-stage process. DEA is used for front end measurement, while ANN provides learning and prediction capabilities. DEA analysis of industry characteristics is based on the measurement of each decision-making unit's (DMU) performance. Back propagation neural networks (BPNN) can then predict each DMU's efficiency score, based on the results of the DEA models. Additional BPNN models provide best performance predictions. Findings – The DEA module successfully evaluates the competitive status of firms in the mobile phone industry in terms of efficiency. Efficiency trends over the observation period reveal the dynamic nature of competition in this industry. The predictive power of the BPNN module has been demonstrated as well. The proposed system is an effective benchmarking and decision support tool, via its capability to simulate performance scenarios, thereby facilitating insightful, prudent decision making. Originality/value – This paper proposes the use of two different but complementary methods, DEA and ANN, in a combined performance modeling approach, and examines mobile phone providers. This methodology can improve users’ performance benchmarking and decision-making processes. Additionally, adaptive prediction capability is provided through approximating efficient frontiers, in addition to performance measurement.
Benchmarking: An International Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 30, 2014
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