Professor Victor Podinovski

BSc, PhD (Moscow State U.)

  • Professor of Operational Research
  • Head of Management Science and Operations Academic Group
  • Co-Director, Centre for Productivity and Performance

Expertise: methodology for measuring efficiency and productivity in organisations (data envelopment analysis); multiple criteria decision analysis; optimisation

Victor Podinovski has a background in applied mathematics and operational research. In 1978-83 he studied for a five-year degree (equivalent to joint BSc and MSc degrees) at Moscow State University, Faculty of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics (in other words, school of applied mathematics and computer science). After graduating with distinction, he started his PhD at the same department. In March 1986, he defended his thesis on a topic of multicriteria decision analysis. He then worked at Moscow State University as Assistant and later Associate Professor, until 1995.

In 1996 Victor moved to Warwick Business School, starting as Lecturer and becoming Professor in 2011. His research interests have now focused on nonparametric methods of efficiency analysis and related areas of optimisation.

From 2011 to 2014 Victor was a principal co-investigator of a large EU-funded research grant, involving a consortium of universities. This joint project aimed at the development of a range of quantitative tools to help EU decision makers to simulate policy scenarios in the field of common agricultural policy.

Victor joined Loughborough University in the spring 2015. He holds the position of Professor of Operational Research at Loughborough Business School and is also a Co-Director of Loughborough University's Centre for Productivity and Performance.

Victor’s main research interests lie in the area of nonparametric assessment of efficiency and productivity of organisations, known as data envelopment analysis (DEA). DEA models are typically stated as linear or mixed integer linear programs, depending on the assumed production technology and other available information about the production process and preferences of the decision maker.

Victor is a leading authority on the theoretical developments in DEA. He has made numerous contributions to the literature including:

  • Introducing the notion of production trade-offs as the dual terms to weight restrictions, or shadow prices of inputs and outputs. This development led to a new methodology (the trade-off approach) for the construction of weight restrictions in a technologically meaningful way that does not have many known shortcomings of other methods.
  • Identifying problematic situations arising from the use of weight restrictions and suggesting corrective formulations of DEA models. His latest papers on this subject defined the concept of consistent weight restrictions and linked it to some basic notions of production economics.
  • Introducing the notion of global returns-to-scale (RTS) as opposed to traditional local RTS. The global RTS classification applies to any production technology and is indicative of the most productive size of organisations, which is useful to decision and policy makers.
  • Introducing the notion of selective convexity and DEA models based on them. This approach has been instrumental for developing DEA models that can utilise data in the form of ratios and percentages that Victor recently addressed in his work with co-authors.
  • Developing hybrid RTS models that bridge the gap between the conventional variable and constant RTS. Such models are particularly suitable in some application areas, e.g., in the assessment of efficiency of schools or universities, as demonstrated by some of Victor’s recent papers.
  • Pioneering a unifying approach to the calculation of various marginal values on production frontiers, including marginal rates of substitution and scale elasticity. The simplicity and theoretical power of this approach is due to the fact that all the heavy lifting is done by known fundamental results of sensitivity analysis in linear programming.

Victor has published his work in leading academic journals, including:

  • Operations Research
  • European Journal of Operational Research
  • Omega, Journal of the Operational Research Society
  • American Journal of Agricultural Economics
  • Journal of Productivity Analysis
  • Co-Editor, Journal of Productivity Analysis
  • Associate Editor, Omega
  • Guest Co-Editor of several special issues of Annals of Operations Research, Journal of the Operational Society and European Journal of Operational Research
  • Keynote speaker at many International Conferences on the topics of productivity and efficiency
  • Elected member of the scientific committees of all most recent flagship biennial conferences – European Workshops on Efficiency and Productivity Analysis
  • Meritorious Service Award for the reviewer role at Operations Research (2013) and Best Reviewer Award for European Journal of Operational Research (2010, 2019)
  • Co-founder of the National Taught Course Centre in Operational Research (NATCOR) funded by EPSRC
  • Podinovski, V. V. (2021) Variable and constant returns-to-scale production technologies with component processes. Operations Research, forthcoming
  • Podinovski, V. V., Olesen, O. B., Sarrico, S. C. (2018) Nonparametric production technologies with multiple component processes. Operations Research, 66(1), 282–300.
  • Podinovski, V.V. (2017) Returns to scale in convex production technologies. European Journal of Operational Research, 258, 970–982.
  • Podinovski, V.V., Chambers, R.G., Atici, K.B., Deineko, I.D. (2016) Marginal values and returns to scale for nonparametric production frontiers. Operations Research, 64, 236–250.
  • Olesen, O.B., Petersen, N.C., Podinovski, V.V. (2015) Efficiency analysis with ratio measures. European Journal of Operational Research, 245, 446–462.
  • Podinovski, V.V., Bouzdine-Chameeva, T. (2013) Weight restrictions and free production in data envelopment analysis. Operations Research, 61, 426–437.