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The use of shape as a cue for indexing into pictorial databases has been traditionally based on global invariant statistics and deformable templates, on the one hand, and local edge correlation on the other. This paper proposes an intermediate approach based on a characterization of the symmetry in edge maps. The use of symmetry matching as a joint correlation measure between pairs of edge elements further constrains the comparison of edge maps. In addition, a natural organization of groups ofdoi:10.1006/jvci.1998.0396 fatcat:cyralpxiwvdyxg7natjgij4vwa