An analytic solution for real optimal filters is known, and the special case of optimal binary phase-only filters can be solved by a fast binning algorithm but no analytic solution is known. We establish a geometric solution for the design of optimal binary amplitude filters (OBAF’s) and optimal binary phase-only filters (OBPOF’s) for any object. The optimal filter is found in terms of maximizing the field strength at the origin in the correlation plane. We found that it is possible to construct a unique convex polygon by using an ordered set of phasors from the filter object’s Fourier transform. This process leads eventually to an exact solution for the filter-design problem. We show that the maximum distance across the polygon divides the phasors into two groups: For the OBAF, it determines the group that is passed or blocked; for the OBPOF, it determines which group is passed with a zero or a π phase shift. The shape of the convex polygon gives qualitative information on the criticalness and the tightness needed in the design process. It provides good insight into the binning-process algorithm and permits us to bound the error in the binning process. Design examples through computer simulation and applications in fingerprint identification are presented.
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