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A new approach for the interpretation of optical flow fields is presented. The flow field, which can be produced by a sensor moving through an environment with several independently moving, rigid objects, is allowed to be sparse, noisy, and partially incorrect. The approach is based on two main stages. In the first stage, the flow field is partitioned into connected segments of flow vectors, where each segment is consistent with a rigid motion of a roughly planar surface. In the second stage, segments are grouped under the hypothesis that they are induced by a single, rigidly moving object. Each hypothesis is tested by searching for three-dimensional (3-D) motion parameters which are compatible with all the segments in the corresponding group. Once the motion parameters are recovered, the relative environmental depth can be estimated as well. Experiments based on real and simulated data are presented.