An approach to protein structure comparison is presented which uses techniques of artificial intelligence (AI) to generate a mapping between two protein structures. The approach proceeds by first identifying the seed of a possible mapping, and then searching for ways to extend the seed by incorporating corresponding elements from the two proteins. Correspondence is judged using heuristic functions which assess the similarity of the structural environments of the elements. The search can be guided by separately encoded knowledge. A prototype has been implemented which is able to rapidly create mappings with a high degree of accuracy in test cases.