GameDev.net have posted an article concerning a method of collision detection called "Opposing Face Geometry". Here's a clip:
"OFG presents a new method for collision detection optimizations by performing a simple pre-calculation on both input objects. It is possible to reduce the number of faces necessary to check for intersection dramatically, from an order of O(mn) intersection tests to an order of O(k2), or rather to a maximum of k2 + 3k test operations, where k is a predetermined constant."
If that sort of thing gets you going, then click here to read the full article.