Recently, optical interpretations of the fractional-Fourier-transform operator have been introduced. On the basis of this operator the fractional correlation operator is defined in two different ways that are both consistent with the definition of conventional correlation. Fractional correlation is not always a shift-invariant operation. This property leads to some new applications for fractional correlation as shift-variant image detection. A bulk-optics implementation of fractional correlation is suggested and demonstrated with computer simulations.