15.3 The Pareto Frontier

The Pareto Frontier and Dominance

The Pareto frontier [2] is a set of architectures that form the “edge of the envelope,” colloquially speaking. Because we have two or more metrics represented in a tradespace, it is unlikely that any single architecture is uniquely “the best.” Rather, the Pareto frontier, also known as the Pareto front, showcases the architectures that are “good” and represent good tradeoffs between the metrics.

Consider, for example, the simple tradespace given in Figure 15.2, which contains three engines from Figure 15.1 (A, B, and C). Note that performance and cost are in tension: Low cost and high performance are good, but increasing performance generally requires increasing cost, as Figure 15.1 ...

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