MedianFilter([T=Float64,] window_length) where T <: Real

Construct a stateful running median filter, taking values of type T.

Manipulate with grow!, roll!, shrink!, reset!. Query with median, length, window_length, isfull.


julia> mf = MedianFilter(Int64, 2)
MedianFilter{Int64}(MutableBinaryHeap(), MutableBinaryHeap(), Tuple{FastRunningMedian.ValueLocation, Int64}[], 0, 0)

julia> grow!(mf, 1); median(mf) # window: [1]

julia> grow!(mf, 2); median(mf) # window: [1,2]

julia> roll!(mf, 3); median(mf) # window: [2,3]

julia> shrink!(mf); median(mf) # window: [3]

Returns the number of elements in the stateful median filter mf.

This number is equal to the length of the internal circular buffer.

grow!(mf::MedianFilter, val) -> mf

Grow mf with the new value val.

If mf would grow beyond maximum window length, an error is thrown. In this case you probably wanted to use roll!.

The new element is pushed onto the end of the circular buffer.


Returns true when the length of the stateful median filter mf equals its window length.

median(mf::MedianFilter; nan=:include)

Determine the current median in mf.

NaN Handling

By default, any NaN value in the filter will turn the result NaN.

Use the keyword argument nan = :ignore to ignore NaN values and calculate the median over the remaining values. If there are only NaNs, the median will be NaN regardless.


If the number of elements in MedianFilter is odd, the low_heap is always one element bigger than the high_heap. The top element of the low_heap then is the median.

If the number of elements in MedianFilter is even, both heaps are the same size and the median is the mean of both top elements.

roll!(mf::MedianFilter, val) -> mf

Roll the window over to the next position by replacing the first and oldest element in the ciruclar buffer with the new value val.

running_median!(mf::MedianFilter, output, input, tapering=:sym; nan=:include) -> output

Use mf to calculate the running median of input and write the result to output.

For all details, see running_median.


input = [4 5 6;
         1 0 9;
         9 8 7;
         3 1 2;]
output = similar(input, (4,3))
mf = MedianFilter(eltype(input), 3)
for j in axes(input, 2) # run median over each column
    # re-use mf in every iteration
    running_median!(mf, @view(output[:,j]), input[:,j])

# output
4×3 Matrix{Int64}:
 4  5  6
 4  5  7
 3  1  7
 3  1  2
running_median(input, window_length, tapering=:symmetric; kwargs...) -> output

Run a median filter of window_length over the input array and return the result.

If the input array is multidimensional, the median will be run only over the first dimension, i.e. over all columns indepedently.


The tapering decides the behaviour at the ends of the input. The available taperings are:

  • :symmteric or :sym: Ensure that the window is symmetric around each point of the output array by always growing or shrinking the window by 2. The output has the same length as the input if window_length is odd. If window_length is even, the output has one element less.
  • :asymmetric or :asym: Always adds or removes one element when calculating the next output value. Creates asymmetric windowing at the edges of the array. If the input is N long, the output is N+window_length-1 elements long.
  • :asymmetric_truncated or :asym_trunc: The same as asymmetric, but truncated at beginning and end to match the length of :symmetric.
  • :none or :no: No tapering towards the ends. If the input has N elements, the output is only N-window_length+1 long. Equivalent to "roll" from RollingFunctions.
  • :beginning_only or :start: At the beginning, always grow the window by one but do not taper the end. This is equivalent to asymmetric but truncated at the end such that the output length matches the input length. Equivalent to "run" from RollingFunctions.

If you choose an even window_length, the elements of the output array lie in the middle between the input elements on a continuous underlying axis.

With the exception of :beginning_only, all taperings are mirror symmetric with respect to the middle of the input array.

Keyword Arguments

  • nan=:include: By default, NaN values in the window will turn the median NaN as well. Use nan = :ignore to ignore NaN values and calculate the median over the remaining values in the window. If there are only NaNs in the window, the median will be NaN regardless.
  • output_eltype=Float64: Element type of the output array. The output element type should allow converting from Float64 and the input element type. The exception is odd window lengths with taperings :no or :sym, in which case the output element type only has to allow converting from the input element type.


The underlying algorithm should scale as O(N log w) with the input length N and the window_length w.

shrink!(mf::MedianFilter) -> mf

Shrinks mf by removing the first and oldest element in the circular buffer.

Will error if mf contains only one element as a MedianFilter with zero elements would not have a median.


Returns the window_length of the stateful median filter mf.

This number is equal to the capacity of the internal circular buffer.