The method of matching pursuits utilizes a nonlinear iterative procedure to project a given waveform onto a particular dictionary. For scattering problems, the most appropriate dictionary is composed of waveobjects that are consistent with the underlying wave phenomenology. A signal scattered from most targets of interest can be decomposed in terms of wavefronts, resonances, and chirpsand each of these subclasses can be further subdivided based on characteristic wave physics. Here, we investigate the efficacy of applying the method of matching pursuits with a wavebased dictionary for the processing of scattering data. The performance of this algorithm is examined for scattering data with and without additive noise. © 1997 IEEE.