Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization

, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 369–395 | Cite as

Survey of multi-objective optimization methods for engineering

  • R.T. Marler
  • J.S. Arora Email author
Review article


A survey of current continuous nonlinear multi-objective optimization (MOO) concepts and methods is presented. It consolidates and relates seemingly different terminology and methods. The methods are divided into three major categories: methods with a priori articulation of preferences, methods with a posteriori articulation of preferences, and methods with no articulation of preferences. Genetic algorithms are surveyed as well. Commentary is provided on three fronts, concerning the advantages and pitfalls of individual methods, the different classes of methods, and the field of MOO as a whole. The Characteristics of the most significant methods are summarized. Conclusions are drawn that reflect often-neglected ideas and applicability to engineering problems. It is found that no single approach is superior. Rather, the selection of a specific method depends on the type of information that is provided in the problem, the user’s preferences, the solution requirements, and the availability of software.


optimization multi-objective multi-criteria engineering  


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© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Optimal Design Laboratory, College of EngineeringThe University of IowaIowa CityUSA

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