A hierarchical recognition methodology using abductive networks at several levels of object recognition is presented. Abductive networks--an innovative numeric modeling technology using networks of polynomial nodes--results from nearly three decades of application research and development in areas including statistical modeling, uncertainty management, genetic algorithms, and traditional neural networks. The systems uses pixel-registered multisensor target imagery provided by the Tri-Service Laser Radar sensor. Several levels of recognition are performed using detection, classification, and identification, each providing more detailed object information. Advanced feature extraction algorithms are applied at each recognition level for target characterization. Abductive polynomial networks process feature information and situational data at each recognition level, providing input for the next level of processing. An expert system coordinates the activities of individual recognition modules and enables employment of heuristic knowledge to overcome the limitations provided by a purely numeric processing approach. The approach can potentially overcome limitations of current systems such as catastrophic degradation during unanticipated operating conditions while meeting strict processing requirements. These benefits result from implementation of robust feature extraction algorithms that do not take explicit advantage of peculiar characteristics of the sensor imagery, and the compact, real-time processing capability provided by abductive polynomial networks.