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This thesis deals with the problem of estimating and tracking the full articulation of human hands. Algorithmically recovering hand articulations is a challenging problem due to the hand’s high number of degrees of freedom and the complexity of its motions. Besides the accuracy and efficiency of the hand posture estimation, hand tracking methods are faced with issues such as invasiveness, ease of deployment and sensor artifacts. In this thesis several different hand tracking approaches are examined, including marker-based optical motion capture, data-driven discriminative visual tracking and generative tracking based on articulated registration, and various contributions to these areas are presented. The problem of optimally placing reduced marker sets on a performer’s hand for optical hand motion capture is explored. A method is proposed that automatically generates functional reduced marker layouts by optimizing for their numerical stability and geometric feasibility. A data-driven discriminative tracking approach based on matching the hand’s appearance in the sensor data with an image database is investigated. In addition to an efficient nearest neighbor search for images, a combination of discriminative initialization and generative refinement is employed. The method’s applicability is demonstrated in interactive robot teleoperation. Various real human hand motions are captured and statistically analyzed to derive low-dimensional representations of hand articulations. An adaptive hand posture subspace concept is developed and integrated into a generative real-time hand tracking approach that aligns a virtual hand model with sensor point clouds based on constrained inverse kinematics. Generative hand tracking is formulated as a regularized articulated registration process, in which geometrical model fitting is combined with statistical, kinematic and temporal regularization priors. A registration concept that combines 2D and 3D alignment and explicitly accounts for occlusions and visibility constraints is devised. High-quality, non-invasive, real-time hand tracking is achieved based on this regularized articulated registration formulation.