In the paper, the problem of choosing a single final design solution among a large set of Pareto-optimal solutions is addressed. Two methods, the k-optimality approach and the more general k-ε-optimality method will be introduced. These two methods theoretically justify and mathematically define the designer’s tendency to choose solutions which are “in the middle” of the Pareto-optimal set. These two methods have been applied to the solution of a relatively simple engineering problem, i.e. the selection of the stiffness and damping of a passively suspended vehicle in order to get the best compromise between discomfort, road holding and working space. The final design solution, found by means of the k-ε-optimality approach seems consistent with the solution selected by skilled suspensions specialists. Finally the k-optimality method has proved to be very effective also when applied to complex engineering problems. The optimization of the tyre/suspension system of a sports car has been formulated as a design problem with 18 objective functions. A large set of Pareto-optimal solutions have been computed. Again, the k-optimality approach has proved to be a useful tool for the selection of a fully satisfactory final design solution.

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