The editors and authors dedicate this book to Bernhard Korte on the occasion of his seventieth birthday. We, the editors, are happy about the overwhelming feedback to our initiative to honor him with this book and with a workshop in Bonn on November 3-7,2008.Althoughthiswouldbeareasontolookback,wewouldratherliketolook forward and see what are the interesting research directions today. This book is written by leading experts in combinatorial optimization. All - pers were carefully reviewed, and eventually twenty-three of the invited papers were accepted for this book. The breadth of topics is typical for the eld: combinatorial optimization builds bridges between areas like combinatorics and graph theory, submodular functions and matroids, network ows and connectivity, approximation algorithms and mat- matical programming, computational geometry and polyhedral combinatorics. All these topics are related, and they are all addressed in this book. Combi- torial optimization is also known for its numerous applications. To limit the scope, however, this book is not primarily about applications, although some are mentioned at various places. Most papers in this volume are surveys that provide an excellent overview of an activeresearcharea,butthisbookalsocontainsmanynewresults.Highlightingmany of the currently most interesting research directions in combinatorial optimization, we hope that this book constitutes a good basis for future research in these areas. von Cook, William J.
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