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Locating moving objects in a video sequence is the first step of many computer vision applications. Among the various motion-detection techniques, background subtraction methods are commonly implemented, especially for applications relying on a fixed camera. Since the basic inter-frame difference with global threshold is often a too simplistic method, more elaborate (and often probabilistic) methods have been proposed. These methods often aim at making the detection process more robust to noise, background motion and camera jitter. In this paper, we present commonly-implemented background subtraction algorithms and we evaluate them quantitatively. In order to gauge performances of each method, tests are performed on a wide range of real, synthetic and semi-synthetic video sequences representing different challenges.