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The empirical mode decomposition (EMD) is an algorithmic construction that aims at decomposing a signal into several modes called intrinsic mode functions. In this letter, we present a new approach for the EMD based on the direct construction of the mean envelope of the signal. The definition of the mean envelope is achieved through the resolution of a quadratic programming problem with equality and inequality constraints. Some numerical experiments conclude this letter, and comparisons are carried out with the classical EMD.