There is a noticeable increase in the emergence of non-deterministic search techniques that simulate natural phenomena into a numerical optimization technique in recent years. These techniques are used for developing structural optimization algorithms that are particularly effective for obtaining solutions to discrete programming problems. In this study amongst these techniques genetic algorithms, simulated annealing, evolution strategies, particle swarm optimizer, tabu search, ant colony optimization and harmony search are utilized to develop seven optimum design algorithms for real size rigidly connected steel frames. The design problems are formulated according to ASD-AISC (Allowable Stress Design Code of American Institute of Steel Institution). (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.