In this paper we address the question of how many objective functions are needed to decide whether a given point is a Pareto optimal solution for a multicriteria optimization problem. We extend earlier results showing that the set of weakly Pareto optimal points is the union of Pareto optimal sets of subproblems and show their limitations. We prove that for strictly quasi-convex problems in two variables Pareto optimality can be decided by consideration of at most three objectives at a time. Our results are based on a geometric characterization of Pareto, strict Pareto and weak Pareto solutions and Helly's Theorem. We also show that a generalization to quasi-convex objectives is not possible, and state a weaker result for this case. Furthermore, we show that a generalization to strictly Pareto optimal solutions is impossible, even in the convex case.
Facility Location Problems are concerned with the optimal location of one or several new facilities, with respect to a set of existing ones. The objectives involve the distance between new and existing facilities, usually a weighted sum or weighted maximum. Since the various stakeholders (decision makers) will have different opinions of the importance of the existing facilities, a multicriteria problem with several sets of weights, and thus several objectives, arises. In our approach, we assume the decision makers to make only fuzzy comparisons of the different existing facilities. A geometric mean method is used to obtain the fuzzy weights for each facility and each decision maker. The resulting multicriteria facility location problem is solved using fuzzy techniques again. We prove that the final compromise solution is weakly Pareto optimal and Pareto optimal, if it is unique, or under certain assumptions on the estimates of the Nadir point. A numerical example is considered to illustrate the methodology.