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DESDEO documentation

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DESDEO: the open source software framework for interactive multiobjective optimization

Documentation Status

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Everything in this repository is currently subject to change. Stay tuned for updates.


DESDEO is an open source framework for interactive multiobjective optimization methods. The framework contains implementations of both scalarization- and population-based methods interactive methods. There are currently no other software frameworks that focus solely on the the implementation of interactive multiobjective optimization methods.

The mission of DESDEO is to increase awareness of the benefits of interactive multiobjective optimization methods, make interactive methods openly available, and to function as the central hub for implementations of various interactive methods. Apart from existing methods, DESDEO offers various tools to facilitate the development of new methods and their application as well.

DESDEO is an open source project and everybody is welcome to contribute!

Key features

DESDEO offers various features that can facilitate the application and development of new interactive multiobjective optimization methods. Some of the key features include, but are not limited to,

  • A powerful, pydantic-based, schema for modeling multiobjective optimization problem of various kinds. Including, analytically defined problems, data-based problems, surrogate-based problems (WIP), and simulation-based problems (WIP). Both continuous and (mixed-)integer problems are supported as well.
  • Support to interface to many popular and powerful optimization software for solving multiobjective optimization problems. Including Gurobi, various solvers from the COIN-OR project, and nevergrad, for instance.
  • A wide assortment of modular software components for implementing existing and new interactive multiobjective optimization methods. For example, many scalarization functions and evolutionary operators for multiobjective optimization are available.
  • A web application programming interface (API), which allows utilizing the interactive multiobjective optimization methods found in DESDEO in virtually any application. The web API also implements a database, and user authentication and session management, allowing DESDEO to be used in building modern web applications as well.
  • An extensive documentation suitable for both newcomers to DESDEO and interactive multiobjective optimization in general, and seasoned veterans.

Installation instructions


DESDEO is currently being developed and supported on Python versions 3.12 and newer. Otherwise, DESDEO is mostly a Python-based framework, depending mostly on other Python packages. However, it does offer interfaces to many powerful existing optimizers. It is recommended to have at least some of these installed and available on the system DESDEO is utilized on to help ensure timely and accurate optimization results.

Some optimizers to consider are:

  • Optimizers from the COIN-OR project, such as Bonmin and Couenne
  • Gurobi

For running the web API, the following external dependencies should be installed and made available to DESDEO:

  • Postgres ( to run the API.

Since this version of DESDEO is not currently available in any public repositories (such as PyPI) as a Python package, it is highly recommended to utilize a Python package management tool to install DESDEO. For this,


This version of DESDEO is currently under heavy development and thus is not available in any Python package repositories. DESDEO will be available on PyPI once it reaches a stable version.

We will assume for the reamainder of these instruction that the Poetry is available on the system DESDEO is being installed on.

To intall DESDEO:

  • Clone this repository
    git clone
  • Create a virtual environment for DESDEO
    python -m venv .venv
    or with Poetry
    poetry shell
  • Activate the virtual environment
    source .venv/bin/activate
    or with poetry
    poetry shell
  • Install DESDEO
    poetry install -E standard  # for relatively modern CPUs
    poetry install -E legacy  # for older or certain Apple CPUs, slower
  • For installing web API dependencies as well, run ```bash # replace 'standard' with 'legacy' if needed poetry install -E "standard api"

DESDEO should now be installed and available on your local machine inside the activated virtual environmnet.

Running the web API

Make sure the dependencies of the web API have been installed first. See the previous section.

To run the DESDEO web API, run the following commands,

## assuming the present working directory is the root of the project
cd desdeo/api/
uvicorn app:app --reload

Follow the console output to see on address and port the web API is running.


Care has been taken to make sure DESDEO is well docmumented, making it accessible to both newcomes and seasoned users.

The documentation of DESDEO is available online.


As DESDEO is an open source project, anybody is welcome to contribute. An extensive tutorial to get started contributing to DESDEO is available in the documentation. Be sure to check it out!

For additional support for contributing to DESDEO, be sure to check out the DESDEO channels in the MCDM Community's Discord server. You may join the server through this invite.


DESDEO is licensed under the MIT license. For more information, check the LICENSE file.


To cite DESDEO, please include the following reference:

Misitano, G., Saini, B. S., Afsar, B., Shavazipour, B., & Miettinen, K. (2021). DESDEO: The modular and open source framework for interactive multiobjective optimization. IEEE Access, 9, 148277-148295.

  title={DESDEO: The modular and open source framework for interactive multiobjective optimization},
  author={Misitano, Giovanni and Saini, Bhupinder Singh and Afsar, Bekir and Shavazipour, Babooshka and Miettinen, Kaisa},
  journal={IEEE Access},


  • About DESDEO (Start here!)

    Read about DESDEO and what it is about


  • Tutorials

    Learn about the central topics in DESDEO and how to contribute


  • Explanation

    Understand how DESDEO works and what it offers


  • Guides

    Get stuff done with DESDEO


API references