In this study, a multi-scale phase based sparse disparity algorithm and a probabilistic model for matching uncertain phase are proposed. The features used are oriented edges extracted using steerable filters. Feature correspondences are estimated using phase-similarity at multiple scale using a magnitude weighting scheme. In order to achieve sub-pixel accuracy in disparity, we use a fine tuning procedure which employs the phase difference between corresponding feature points. We also derive a probabilistic model, where phase uncertainty is trained using data from a single image pair. The model is used to provide stable matches. The disparity algorithm and the probabilistic phase uncertainty model are verified on various stereo image pairs. (c) 2006 Pattern Recognition Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.