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jMetal is a Java-based framework for multi-objective optimization using metaheuristics. It is a flexible, extensible, and easy-to-use software package that has been used in a wide range of applications. In this paper, we describe the design issues underlying jMetal, focusing mainly on its internal architecture, with the aim of offering a comprehensive view of its main features to interested researchers. Among the covered topics, we detail the basic components facilitating the implementation of multi-objective metaheuristics (solution representations, operators, problems, density estimators, archives), the included quality indicators to assess the performance of the algorithms, and jMetal's support to carry out full experimental studies.