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The feasibility of applying image processing techniques to metal surface inspection is demonstrated. Two methods for metal surface inspection are described. In the first method, the metal surface reflective power and the metal surface normal are related by a random surface scattering model. The metal surface profile can then be computed from the metal surface normal. The second method applies pattern recognition techniques to classify metal surfaces into classes of different roughness. Methods of feature extraction and classification have been tested experimentally and the performances of different types of classifier have been compared. A two-level tree classifier using nonparametric linear classifiers at each node gives better than 90% correct classification on the testing set.