Advances in Operations Research
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 424989, 17 pages
Research Article

Visualizing Production Surfaces in 3D Diagrams

Department of Finance, University of Graz, Universitätsstraße 15, G2, 8010 Graz, Austria

Received 17 January 2011; Accepted 14 June 2011

Academic Editor: Lars Mönch

Copyright © 2011 I. Seidl and M. Sommersguter-Reichmann. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


During the last four decades Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) has attracted considerable attention in the OR community. Using DEA, the efficiency frontier is constructed based on assumptions concerning the production possibility set rather than a priori defining a functional relationship between inputs and outputs. In this contribution, we propose an algorithm to visualize the efficiency surface in a 3D diagram and to extract isoquants from the efficient hull based on different RTS assumptions which might be particularly helpful for presentation purposes. In doing so, we extend the existing literature which has concentrated on the visualization of production frontiers in 2D diagrams to the visualization of efficient rather than fully efficient hulls in 3D diagrams. Displaying a fully efficient hull, however, does not reflect all properties of the production possibility set as weakly efficient frontier segments are missing.