Automatic target recognition (ATR) of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images is performed on either global or local features. The global features can be extracted and classified with high efficiency. However, they lack the reasoning capability thus can hardly work well under the extended operation conditions (EOCs). The local features are often more difficult to extract and classify but they provide reasoning capability for EOC target recognition. To combine the efficiency and robustness in an ATR system, a hierarchical fusion of the global and local features is proposed for SAR ATR in this paper. As the global features, the random projection features can be efficiently extracted and effectively classified by sparse representation-based classification (SRC). The physically relevant local descriptors, i.e., attributed scattering centers (ASCs), are employed for local reasoning to handle various EOCs like noise corruption, resolution variance, and partial occlusion. A one-to-one correspondence between the test and template ASC sets is built by the Hungarian algorithm. Then, the local reasoning is performed by evaluating individual matched pairs as well as the false alarms and missing alarms. For the test image to be recognized, it is first classified by the global classifier, i.e., SRC. Once a reliable decision is made, the whole recognition process terminates. When the decision is not reliable enough, it is passed to the local classifier, where a further classification by ASC matching is carried out. Therefore, by the hierarchical fusion strategy, the efficiency of global features and the robustness of local descriptors to various EOCs can be maintained jointly in the ATR system. Extensive experiments on the moving and stationary target acquisition and recognition data set demonstrate that the proposed method achieves superior effectiveness and robustness under both SOC and typical EOCs, i.e., noise corruption,
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