Pareto Optimal

Occurs when one party’s position can not be improved without loss to the other party. For example, in negotiations, that would the point where the terms are optimized for both parties such that it can not be improved further without loss to either side. A Pareto improvement is when something can be improved without loss and Pareto dominated is when there is a possible Pareto improvement.

See also:

  • Homeostasis is a similar concept in biology
  • Novice software engineers being too dogmatic about duplication can be explained as a lack of understanding of Pareto optimal in engineering

A visualization of sustainability represented by concentric rings (hence the doughnut). At the center are twelve factors necessary to support life that array outward. The first ring closest to the center is the minimum required for society to function, but as it extends outward it reaches the ‘ecological ceiling’ such as climate change, pollution, etc.