The aim of the project is the development of a general concept for local search operators. The identifi- cation of optimal operators for solving a given combinatorial optimization problem is fundamental for an efficient local search approach. This is true for both point-based local search methods (local hillclimb- ing, simulated annealing) as well as for population-based local search methods (genetic algorithms). In the first place, the concept deals with unary operators as used in point-based local search methods. However, since recombination operators as usually found in genetic algorithms, can be traced back to unary operators the concept also applies to genetic algorithms and thus provides a general framework. In particular, such a concept is expected to improve the current design methodology for local search al- gorithms. Furthermore. it may give rise to an alternative theoretical explanation for genetic algorithms.