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In this paper, we propose a general framework for fusing bottom-up segmentation with top-down object behavior inference over an image sequence. This approach is beneficial for both tasks, since it enables them to cooperate so that knowledge relevant to each can aid in the resolution of the other, thus enhancing the final result. In particular, the behavior inference process offers dynamic probabilistic priors to guide segmentation. At the same time, segmentation supplies its results to the inference process, ensuring that they are consistent both with prior knowledge and with new image information. The prior models are learned from training data and they adapt dynamically, based on newly analyzed images. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our framework via particular implementations that we have employed in the resolution of two hand gesture recognition applications. Our experimental results illustrate the robustness of our joint approach to segmentation and behavior inference in challenging conditions involving complex backgrounds and occlusions of the target object.