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Journal of Inforamtion Science and Engineering, Vol.17 No.4, pp.405-415 (May 2001)

A New Two-Path Search Algorithm for Block Motion
Estimation of Video Data

Chin-Chen Chang, Lin-Li Cheng and Tung-Shou Chen*
Institute of Computer Science and Information Engineering
National Chung Cheng University
Chiayi, Taiwan 621, R.O.C.
E-mail: {ccc, cll84}@cs.ccu.edu.tw
*Department of Information Management
National Taichung Institute of Technology
Taichung, Taiwan 404, R.O.C.
E-mail: ts.chen@taiwan.com

In this paper, we propose a new fast search algorithm for block motion estimation (BME). This algorithm employs two techniques: the center-biased technique and the two-path technique. The former is applied to stop the search procedure if the block currently being processed is stationary. Otherwise, the proposed algorithm conducts the two-path search to perform BME. The search result of the traditional one-path search will probably not reach the global minimum. It is clear that two-path search can reduce this bias. The experimental results show that the computational complexity of the proposed algorithm is low and that its image quality is acceptable no matter whether the input video contains slow motion only or a large amount of activity.

Keywords: two-path search, center-biased concept, motion estimation, block mathcing process, video coding

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Received October 4, 1999; revised April 17 & July 10, 2000; accepted September 1, 2000.
Communicated by Yung-Nien Sun.