Applying the approximation method PAINT and the interactive method NIMBUS to the multiobjective optimization of operating a wastewater treatment plant

Using an interactive multiobjective optimization method called NIMBUS and an approximation method called PAINT, preferable solutions to a five-objective problem of operating a wastewater treatment plant are found. The decision maker giving preference information is an expert in wastewater treatment plant design at the engineering company Pöyry Finland Ltd. The wastewater treatment problem is computationally expensive and requires running a simulator to evaluate the values of the objective functions. This often leads to problems with interactive methods as the decision maker may get frustrated while waiting for new solutions to be computed. Thus, a newly developed PAINT method is used to speed up the iterations of the NIMBUS method. The PAINT method interpolates between a given set of Pareto optimal outcomes and constructs a computationally inexpensive mixed integer linear surrogate problem for the original wastewater treatment problem. With the mixed integer surrogate problem, the time required from the decision maker is comparatively short. In addition, a new IND-NIMBUS®PAINT module is developed to allow the smooth interoperability of the NIMBUS method and the PAINT method.