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THIS Special Issue is an outgrowth of a research workshop that took place at Hot Springs, VA, in November 1981 . The workshop carried the same title as this issue and attracted, thanks to the efforts of the Program Committee and support from the National Science Foundation, distinguished researchers from both the computer architecture field and the image analysis field. In conjunction with the workshop, a general Call for Papers announcement was sent out, and provided the opportunity for those who were unable to participate in the workshop to contribute. With the help of many volunteer referees, we have selected 13 out of some 35 submissions for inclusion in this Special Issue.