A universally applicable reliability-guided digital image correlation (DIC) method is proposed for reliable image deformation measurement. The zero-mean normalized cross correlation (ZNCC) coefficient is used to identify the reliability of the point computed. The correlation calculation begins with a seed point and is then guided by the ZNCC coefficient. That means the neighbors of the point with the highest ZNCC coefficient in a queue for computed points will be processed first. Thus the calculation path is always along the most reliable direction, and possible error propagation of the conventional DIC method can be avoided. The proposed novel DIC method is universally applicable to the images with shadows, discontinuous areas, and deformation discontinuity. Two image pairs were used to evaluate the performance of the proposed technique, and the successful results clearly demonstrate its robustness and effectiveness.
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