The determination of the fundamental stress versus crack opening (σ-w) response of concrete under uniaxial tension is performed in this study through inverse analysis using data from notched beam tests. The procedure used for optimizing the parameters of the σ-w relation using the load versus crack mouth opening displacement response of the notched beam is described. Satisfactory comparisons have been obtained between the σ-w curves obtained through the inverse analysis and those directly measured in uniaxial tension tests. The use of weighting functions in the inverse analysis may be necessary when large crack widths are to be considered. Journal of Engineering Mechanics © 2006 ASCE.