Pareto navigator

Pareto navigator for interactive nonlinear multiobjective optimization. We describe a new interactive learning-oriented method called Pareto navigator for nonlinear multiobjective optimization. In the method, first a polyhedral approximation of the Pareto optimal set is formed in the objective function space using a relatively small set of Pareto optimal solutions representing the Pareto optimal set. Then the decision maker can navigate around the polyhedral approximation and direct the search for promising regions where the most preferred solution could be located. In this way, the decision maker can learn about the interdependencies between the conflicting objectives and possibly adjust one’s preferences. Once an interesting region has been identified, the polyhedral approximation can be made more accurate in that region or the decision maker can ask for the closest counterpart in the actual Pareto optimal set. If desired, (s)he can continue with another interactive method from the solution obtained. Pareto navigator can be seen as a nonlinear extension of the linear Pareto race method. After the representative set of Pareto optimal solutions has been generated, Pareto navigator is computationally efficient because the computations are performed in the polyhedral approximation and for that reason function evaluations of the actual objective functions are not needed. Thus, the method is well suited especially for problems with computationally costly functions. Furthermore, thanks to the visualization technique used, the method is applicable also for problems with three or more objective functions, and in fact it is best suited for such problems. After introducing the method in more detail, we illustrate it and the underlying ideas with an example.