I have chosen this book as the main textbook for my masters course "Modern Heuristic Techniques", Computer Science, Australian Defence Force Academy, UC, University of New South Wales. The book puts together, in an excellent way, recent advances in the theory of heuristic search. Although the title emphasises optimisation, the prospective reader should be aware of the fact that problems in many domains (such as machine learning, conventional operational research, speech recognition, ... Etc.) are optimisation problems in the first place. While I was struggling to collect easy-to-understand papers for my students, this book came to save my time, my efforts, as well as my students. It was important for me to find a textbook, which covers non-conventional topics such as GA, EA, SA, ... Etc. Being written by the people who invented the novel techniques, this book matched all my expectations. Apart from minor personal comments on the presentation of some algorithms, the book is very well presented. I do encourage people teaching for post-graduates in the fields of operational research, machine learning, search, ... Etc, to use this book for their course. Finally, I would like to thank Mc-Graw Hill for their prompt delivery of the book and David Corne for his help.