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Multi-objective simulation optimization using data envelopment analysis and genetic algorithm: Specific application to determining optimal resource levels in surgical services


  • Lin, Rung-Chuan
  • Sir, Mustafa Y.
  • Pasupathy, Kalyan S.


Simulation is a powerful tool for modeling complex systems with intricate relationships between various entities and resources. Simulation optimization refers to methods that search the design space (i.e., the set of all feasible system configurations) to find a system configuration (also called a design point) that gives the best performance. Since simulation is often time consuming, sampling as few design points from the design space as possible is desired. However, in the case of multiple objectives, traditional simulation optimization methods are ineffective to uncover the efficient frontier. We propose a framework for multi-objective simulation optimization that combines the power of genetic algorithm (GA), which can effectively search very large design spaces, with data envelopment analysis (DEA) used to evaluate the simulation results and guide the search process. In our framework, we use a design point's relative efficiency score from DEA as its fitness value in the selection operation of GA. We apply our algorithm to determine optimal resource levels in surgical services. Our numerical experiments show that our algorithm effectively furthers the frontier and identifies efficient design points.

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  • Lin, Rung-Chuan & Sir, Mustafa Y. & Pasupathy, Kalyan S., 2013. "Multi-objective simulation optimization using data envelopment analysis and genetic algorithm: Specific application to determining optimal resource levels in surgical services," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 881-892.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:41:y:2013:i:5:p:881-892
    DOI: 10.1016/

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    Cited by:

    1. Nathaniel D. Bastian & Tahir Ekin & Hyojung Kang & Paul M. Griffin & Lawrence V. Fulton & Benjamin C. Grannan, 2017. "Stochastic multi-objective auto-optimization for resource allocation decision-making in fixed-input health systems," Health Care Management Science, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 246-264, June.
    2. Chen, Zhongfei & Barros, Carlos Pestana & Borges, Maria Rosa, 2015. "A Bayesian stochastic frontier analysis of Chinese fossil-fuel electricity generation companies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 136-144.
    3. Yang, Muer & Wang, Xinfang (Jocelyn) & Xu, Nuo, 2015. "A robust voting machine allocation model to reduce extreme waiting," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 57(PB), pages 230-237.
    4. Zhou, Liping & Geng, Na & Jiang, Zhibin & Wang, Xiuxian, 2018. "Multi-objective capacity allocation of hospital wards combining revenue and equity," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 220-233.
    5. Ebrahimnejad, Ali & Tavana, Madjid & Santos-Arteaga, Francisco J., 2016. "An integrated data envelopment analysis and simulation method for group consensus ranking," Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (MATCOM), Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 1-17.
    6. Miranda, Rafael de Carvalho & Montevechi, José Arnaldo Barra & da Silva, Aneirson Francisco & Marins, Fernando Augusto Silva, 2017. "Increasing the efficiency in integer simulation optimization: Reducing the search space through data envelopment analysis and orthogonal arrays," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 262(2), pages 673-681.


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