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Four methods of electromagnetic probing of an inhomogeneous plane stratified medium are presented. They differ by the nature of the incident wave used in the diagnostic. In the first method, the medium is considered as a structure propagating guided modes, and permittivity profiles are determined from the knowledge of one of the guided modes. In the next three, the medium is considered as a scatterer illuminated by a plane wave. Two of them are devoted to reconstruction of conductivity or permittivity profiles from time domain analysis of the reflected field. The last one allows one to obtain permittivity profiles from spectral domain analysis of the reflection coefficient. In spite of their apparent diversity, all these methods are issued from integral representations of the electromagnetic fields. These representations provides the simulated experimental data for the inverse problems. The behavior of these processes has been examined when parameters of practical interest are varied.