Abstract T cells of the vertebrate immune system recognise peptides bound by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules on the surface of host cells. Peptide binding to MHC molecules is necessary for immune recognition, but only a subset of peptides are capable of binding to a particular MHC molecule. Common amino acid patterns (binding motifs) have been observed in sets of peptides that bind to specific MHC molecules. Recently, matrix models for peptide/MHC interaction have been reported. These encode the rules of peptide / MHC interactions for an individual MHC molecule as a 20'9 matrix where the contribution to binding of each amino acid at each position within a 9-mer peptide is quantified. The artificial intelligence techniques of genetic search and machine learning have proved to be very useful in the area of biological sequence analysis. The availability of peptide / MHC binding data can facilitate derivation of binding matrices using machine learning techniques.