A novel cross-diamond search algorithm for fast block motion estimation

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1168-1177
Journal / PublicationIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2002


In block motion estimation, search patterns with different shapes or sizes and the center-biased characteristics of motion-vector distribution have a large impact on the searching speed and quality of performance. In this paper, we propose a novel algorithm using a cross-search pattern as the initial step and large/small diamond search (DS) patterns as the subsequent steps for fast block motion estimation. The initial cross-search pattern is designed to fit the cross-center-biased motion vector distribution characteristics of the real-world sequences by evaluating the nine relatively higher probable candidates located horizontally and vertically at the center of the search grid. The proposed cross-diamond search (CDS) algorithm employs the halfway-stop technique and finds small motion vectors with fewer search points than the DS algorithm while maintaining similar or even better search quality. The improvement of CDS over DS can be up to a 40% gain on speedup. Experimental results show that the CDS is much more robust, and provides faster searching speed and smaller distortions than other popular fast block-matching algorithms.

Research Area(s)

  • Block-matching motion estimation, Cross-center-biased characteristic, Cross-diamond search algorithm