The problem of recognizing an object from a partially occluded boundary image is considered, and the concept of saliency of a boundary segment is introduced. Saliency measures the extent to which the boundary segment distinguishes the object to which it belongs from other objects which might be present. An algorithm is presented which optimally determines the saliency of boundary segments of one object with respect to those of a set of other objects. An efficient template matching algorithm using templates weighted by boundary segment saliency is then presented and employed to recognize partially occluded parts. The results of these experiments illustrate the effectiveness of the new technique.