An original method of higher order curve detection using the straight-line Hough transform (HT) is presented. This scheme is possible because curves in an image can be approximated by small straight-line segments. By combining the straight-line HT mapping
scheme with an associative memory (AM), the method can discrimmate and identify between different curvies. Curves such as circles, ellipses, and parabolas have been studied. This method is computationally very efficient and may yield to hardware implementation, thus making it possible to use the HT in fast real-time applications. The system consists of a parallel analog mapping from image plane to parameter plane and an AM pattern classifier.