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Pruning and ranking the Pareto optimal set, application for the dynamic multi-objective network design problem



Solving the multi-objective network design problem (MONDP) resorts to a Pareto optimal set. This set can provide additional information like trade-offs between objectives for the decision making process, which is not available if the compensation principle would be chosen in advance. However, the Pareto optimal set of solutions can become large, especially if the objectives are mainly opposed. As a consequence, the Pareto optimal set may become difficult to analyze and to comprehend. In this case, pruning and ranking becomes attractive to reduce the Pareto optimal set and to rank the solutions to assist the decision maker. Because the method used, may influence the eventual decisions taken, it is important to choose a method that corresponds best with the underlying decision process and is in accordance with the qualities of the data used. We provided a review of some methods to prune and rank the Pareto optimal set to illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of these methods. The methods are applied using the outcome of solving the dynamic MONDP in which minimizing externalities of traffic are the objectives, and dynamic traffic management measures are the decision variables. For this, we solved the dynamic MONDP for a realistic network of the city Almelo in the Netherlands using the non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm II. For ranking, we propose to use a fuzzy outranking method that can take uncertainties regarding the data quality and the perception of decision makers into account; and for pruning, a method that explicitly reckons with significant trade-offs has been identified as the more suitable method to assist the decision making process. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.