Finite element model updating is a procedure to minimise the differences between analytical and experimental results and is usually posed as an optimisation problem. In model updating process, one requires not only satisfactory correlations between analytical and experimental results, but also maintaining physical significance of updated parameters. For this purpose, setting up of an objective function and selecting updating parameters are crucial steps in model updating. These require considerable physical insight and usually trial-and-error approaches are common to use. In conventional model updating procedures, an objective function is set as the weighted sum of the differences between analytical and experimental results. But the selection of the weighting factors is not clear since the relative importance among them is not obvious but specific for each problem. In this work, multiobjective optimisation technique is introduced to extremise several objective terms simultaneously. Also the success of finite element model updating depends heavily on the selection of updating parameters. In order to avoid an ill-conditioned numerical problem, the number of updating parameters should be kept as small as possible. Such parameters should be selected with the aim of correcting modelling errors and modal properties of interest should be sensitive to them. When the selected parameters are inadequate, then the updated model becomes unsatisfactory or unrealistic. An improved method to guide the parameter selection is suggested. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.