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Developer(s) Esteco s.p.a
Stable release
2017R4 ( / June 14, 2017
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Technical computing
License Proprietary

modeFRONTIER is a Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (MDO) platform developed by the Italian software house ESTECO SpA. Its workflow based environment, and multi-objective optimization algorithms are used for streamlining the engineering design process to cut time and cost while obtaining improved results.


modeFRONTIER was developed as a spin-off of the European research project on "Design Optimization", called FRONTIER. The project started in 1996 thanks to the collaboration of the following partners: British Aerospace (UK), Parallab (Norway), University of Trieste, University of Newcastle (UK), Daimler-Benz Aerospace (DASA) (Germany), Defense Evaluation and Research Agency (UK), Electrolux-Zanussi (Italy) and Calortecnica (Italy). The project’s main objective was to develop a technology for design optimization based on the cornerstone of "design analysis".

In 1999, following the end of the project, ESTECO was founded with the aim of further developing a commercial version of the FRONTIER software, which later became modeFRONTIER. In 2000, the commercial software, FRONTIER 2.0 was released (following FRONTIER 1.0, released in 1998). In 2002, the 2.5 version is released under the new name, modeFRONTIER, still in use today.


modeFRONTIER functionalities and features include third party software integration, process automation within a workflow-based environment, design space exploration, real and RSM based optimization, RSM model creation and training, robust design and reliability, as well as a set of post processing tools for data analytics and visualization and decision making.

modeFRONTIER encompasses tools for process automation and integration, design space exploration, multidisciplinary optimization, RSM modeling and virtual optimization, robustness and reliability. modeFRONTIER includes a set of advanced optimization algorithms covering deterministic, stochastic and heuristic methods for both single and multi-objective problems. The platform comes with analytics and visualization tools that facilitate decision making.

Design Space Exploration

DOE methods available in modeFRONTIER. Space Filler DOEs serve as the starting point for a subsequent optimization process or a database for response surface training. Statistical DOEs are useful to create samplings for the sensitivity analysis thus allowing in-depth understanding of the problem by identifying the sources of variation. Robustness and reliability DOEs help create a set of stochastic points for robustness evaluation. Optimal Designs DOEs are special purpose techniques used for reducing the dataset volume.

Multidisciplinary optimization

modeFRONTIER allows the user to chose the optimization strategy based on the design space boundaries and on the required reliability and robustness. The platform includes advanced algorithms for RSM-based and direct optimization, that cover deterministic, stochastic and heuristic methods for both single and multiobjective problems. It is possible to run algorithms within modeFRONTIER in manual, self-initializing or autonomous mode. In particular, its multi-strategy algorithms (Hybrid, FAST, pilOPT, SANGEA) are able to combine different optimization methods to further reduce time and effort needed to complete a design cycle.


It is possible to access modeFRONTIER features through different standalone modules within the same installation, or directly in modeFRONTIER, according to the profile of the user, allowing for efficient streamlining of teamwork within multidisciplinary engineering processes.


Available as a standalone application, modeSPACE allows for role management within teams. The module includes a set of tools for data analysis and investigation of the characteristics of the engineering problem at hand, both in the post-processing phase and prior to optimization.


An independent desktop application for visualizing processes in the form of graphical workflows specifying which parameters and simulations are required to solve an engineering design problem at hand.

modeFRONTIER for Calibration (mfC)

modeFRONTIER for Calibration toolbox is a dedicated solution for fast, automated model-based engine calibration, included in the modeFRONTIER platform. It presents a simplified modeFRONTIER interface tailored to the needs of engine calibration, while exploiting its optimization technology

mFC automates the generation of tasks required at the engine test bench, generating optimal Engine Control Unit (ECU) maps.

Fields of application (commercial)

modeFRONTIER industrial and academic applications include automotive, aerospace, architecture, biotechnology, pharmaceutical sector, consumer goods, electronics, energy and environment, marine and offshore.

Academic applications

Universities that used modeFRONTIER for their academic projects and research include the University of Michigan, Georgia Institute of Technology, Tohoky University, Yokohama National University, Purdue University, Polytechnic University of Milan, University of Trieste, Beijing University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rutgers University, Wayne State University

EU-funded projects

European projects that have used modeFRONTIER include Gasvessel, Composelector, Utopiae, Umrida, Nodesim-CFD, Mulicube.


modeFRONTIER 2016 Adds User Profiles to Improve CAE Optimization Workflows

External links

  • modeFRONTIER at Esteco website
  • ESTECO SpA website
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