This is a survey on the automorphism groups in various classes of affine algebraic surfaces and the algebraic group actions on such surfaces. Being infinite-dimensional, these automorphism groups share some important features of algebraic groups. At the same time, they can be studied from the viewpoint of the combinatorial group theory, so we put a special accent on group-theoretical aspects (ind-groups, amalgams, etc.). We provide different approaches to classification, prove certain new results, and attract attention to several open problems.
Digital Object Identifier: 10.2969/aspm/07510207