The performance of a fragile watermarking method based on discrete cosine transform (DCT) has been improved in this paper by using intelligent optimization algorithms (IOA). namely genetic algorithm, differential evolution algorithm, clonal selection algorithm and particle swarm optimization algorithm. In DCT based fragile watermarking techniques, watermark embedding can usually be achieved by modifying the least significant bits of the transformation coefficients. After the embedding process is completed, transforming the modified coefficients from the frequency domain to the spatial domain produces some rounding errors due to the conversion of real numbers to integers. The rounding errors caused by this transformation process were corrected by the use of intelligent optimization algorithms mentioned above. This paper gives experimental results which show the feasibility of using these optimization algorithms for the fragile watermarking and demonstrate the accuracy of these methods. The performance comparison of the algorithms was also realized. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.