A method for solving the stereo matching problem in the presence of large occlusion is presented. A data structure --- the disparity space image --- is defined to facilitate the description of the effects of occlusion on the stereo matching process and in particular on dynamic programming (DP) solutions that find matches and occlusions simultaneously. We significantly improve upon existing DP stereo matching methods by showing that while some cost must be assigned to unmatched pixels, sensitivity to occlusion-cost and algorithmic complexity can be significantly reduced when highly-reliable matches, or ground control points , are incorporated into the matching process. The use of ground control points eliminates both the need for biasing the process towards a smooth solution and the task of selecting critical prior probabilities describing image formation. Finally, we describe how the detection of intensity edges can be used to bias the recovered solution such that occlusion boundaries will tend to be proposed along such edges, reflecting the observation that occlusion boundaries usually cause intensity discontinuities.