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Recently, an efficient lattice reduction method, called the effective LLL (ELLL) algorithm, was presented for the detection of multiinput multioutput (MIMO) systems. In this letter, a novel lattice reduction criterion, called diagonal reduction, is proposed. The diagonal reduction is weaker than the ELLL reduction, however, like the ELLL reduction, it has identical performance with the LLL reduction when applied for the sphere decoding and successive interference cancelation (SIC) decoding. It improves the efficiency of the ELLL algorithm by significantly reducing the size-reduction operations. Furthermore, we present a greedy column traverse strategy, which reduces the column swap operations in addition to the size-reduction operations.