Marvin Troutt





Marvin D. Troutt is a Distinguished Scholar Award (2005) Professor in the Department of Management & Information Systems and the Graduate School of Management in the College of Business at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. in addition to his research and  teaching, he guides the research of colleagues and doctoral students, having directed over 20 dissertations. He received the PhD in Mathematical Statistics from The University of Illinois at Chicago in 1975, the M.S. in Applied Mathematics in 1970 and the B.S. in Mathematics and Statistics in 1966 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He worked as an actuary at Bankers Life & Casualty Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1966-1970, and earned the Associate of the Society of Actuaries (A.S.A.) designation from the Society of Actuaries in 1978 through competitive examinations. He worked in the Office of Institutional Research and Studies at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, 1978-79.


Prof. Troutt served as an Associate Editor of Decision Sciences Journal, 1987-2003.  He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Organizational and End User Computing and serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of Computers & Operations Research, and The International Journal of Mathematics in Operational Research. He was designated a Fellow of DSI in 2001.  He has served as the Director of the Center for Information Systems at Kent State University, 1998-200, and the Henry J. Rehn Research Professor in Management at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, 1990-1998.  He served as Visiting Scholar in the Department of Applied Mathematics at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University during 1994-95. In 1986 he attended the A.A.C.S.B. Advanced Faculty Development Institute in M.I.S.


He has coauthored two books and published over 200 refereed articles, book chapters, and Proceedings.  His work has appeared in such journals as: Advances & Applications in Statistics, Annals of Operations Research, Business Process Management Journal, Computers & Industrial Engineering, Computers & Operations Research, Decision Sciences, Decision Support Systems, Encyclopedia of Statistical Sciences, European Journal of Operational Research, INTERFACES, International Journal of Business and Economics, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, International Journal of Operational Research, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, International Journal of Production Research, International Journal of Mathematics in Operational Research, International Journal of Strategic Decision Sciences, International Journal of Technology Intelligence and Planning, Journal of Applied Meteorology, Journal of Benchmarking for Quality, Management and Technology, Journal of Business and Economics Research


Journal of Data Analysis, Journal of Global Commerce Research, Journal for Higher Education Management, Journal of Industrial and Management Optimization, Journal of Information Technology Theory & Application, Journal of Knowledge Management, Journal of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis, Journal of the Operational Research Society, Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications, Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, Journal of Systems and Software, Logistics Information Management, Management Science, Mathematical and Computer Modeling, Mathematical Programming, Naval Research Logistics, OMEGA, Online Information Review: The International Journal of Digital Information Research and Use, Operations Research, Operations Research Letters, Organizational Research Methods, OR Spektrum, Research in Higher Education, SIAM Journal on Matrix Analysis and Applications, SIAM Review, Statistics, The Energy Journal, The Journal of Consumer Marketing, The Journal of Risk and Insurance, The Journal of Systems and Software, and Theory and Decision.


Prof. Troutt has coauthored two books:


Troutt, M.D., Pang, W. K. and Hou, S. H., 2004.  Vertical Density Representation and its Applications, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., Singapore.


Higuchi, T. and Troutt, M. D., 2008. Life Cycle Management in Supply Chains: Identifying Innovations through the Case of the VCR. April. IGI Global Publishing Company, Hershey, PA.



His major interests have been in the application of mathematical programming and optimization techniques to the areas of multicriteria optimization, input-output efficiency analysis and parameter estimation.  His 1994 article in Operations Research developed a criterion function gradient scaling method and an information elicitation technique for interactive multiple criteria optimization problems.  His recent work in this area seeks to apply such methods to interactive spreadsheet model solution as a generalization of single criterion goal-seeking.


His work in efficiency analysis includes applications, extensions and alternative models for data envelopment analysis (DEA).  His early application work in this area developed a method to use DEA for a cased-based approach for deciding new credit risk decisions. Later an approach was proposed for using DEA to establish production targets in multi-stage production processes. This is a data-based approach that uses observed performances of various stages of a production process to infer maximal overall capabilities for the whole process and to suggest cycle targets taking into account initial buffers. More recently, DEA and another new efficiency modeling technique MPI, described below, have been applied to estimating imitative arbitrage opportunities in firms within an industry.  His early theory work in efficiency analysis was aimed at proposing efficiency ratio models with fixed input and output weights. Such “common” weights are not permitted to vary over the productive units being compared and thus force a common yardstick efficiency ranking of units. More recently this theory worked has merged into a more general estimation technique discussed next.


His work in estimation has concentrated on developing statistical theory for data arising from purposeful or managed behavior, an area little considered in classical statistics but important for business and elsewhere.  Major interest has been in developing a reverse use of modeling to estimate missing data.  This work led to his 1995 article in Management Science.  In this article he proposed a new estimation principle called maximum decisional efficiency (MDE) estimation principle.  Recent work in this area has applied MDE concepts to the estimation of costs and other missing data estimation.  As part of this work he developed a new density analysis technique called vertical density representation (VDR), the basics of which were published in the Encyclopedia of Statistical Sciences in 1999 and discussed further below.


Closely related to the above estimation work is the topic of Vertical Density Representation (VDR) This new density analysis technique has been described in the Encyclopedia of Statistical Sciences in 1999. VDR is a new approach to representing multivariate probability density functions, which was originated by Prof. Troutt 1993.  The VDR technique has recently been used to split ordinary Pearson correlation into two separate components.  This has promise in improving the aggregation of forecasts and expert opinions.  In addition, VDR has recently been applied to designing Chaos functions for generating uniform random numbers.  VDR has a number of applications to computer simulation and several of these are discussed in Prof. Troutt’s book with W.K. Pang and S. H. Hou, both at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. 


The above research was in part motivated by a pet problem of career-long interest to Prof. Troutt. This problem is a version of inverse optimization in the linear programming context. Namely, given a series of input and output vectors, as in input-output efficiency analysis, is it possible to infer or fit a linear programming model to the data in the following way. Namely, the input vectors are to be interpretable as the available resources or right hand side constraint levels, and the outputs are optimal or approximately optimal solutions to the unknown linear programming model. Together with colleagues a general solution was finally obtained and published in the article:  Troutt, M. D., Brandyberry, A. A., Sohn, C. and Tadisina, S. K. 2008. “Linear programming system identification: The general nonnegative parameters case”. European Journal of Operational Research 185(1), 63-75. 


Prof. Troutt’s other research areas of interest include data mining, knowledge management, evolutionary and genetic optimization algorithms, and quality assurance theory and applications, aggregation of expert information, mode estimation, methods for bias reduction, decision support techniques and systems, decision “bootstrapping”, manager versus model of the manager, supply chain management issues such as fair revenue and cost sharing and strategic design, strategic design issues in supply chains, and general research methods. He has participated in research grants from Southern Illinois University a Carbondale, Kent State University and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.


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