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Motion scalability is designed to improve the coding efficiency of a scalable video coding framework, especially in the medium to low range of decoding bit rates or spatial resolutions. In order to fully benefit from the superiority of motion scalability, a rate-distortion optimized bitstream extractor, which determines the optimal motion quality layer for each decoding scenario, is required. In this paper, the determination process first starts off with a brute force searching algorithm. Although guaranteed by the optimal performance within the search domain, it has high computational complexity. Two properties, i.e. the monotonically non-decreasing property and the unimodal property, are then derived to accurately describe the rate-distortion behavior of motion scalability. Based on these two properties, modified searching algorithms are proposed to reduce the complexity by a factor up to 5.