The effectiveness of phase-shifting interferometry (PSI) techniques employing piezoelectric device PZT in the estimation of phase depends largely on the accuracy with which the phase shifts are imparted to the device and the noise influencing the measurement. Several effective algorithms have been proposed to compute the phase shifts imparted to the device and subsequently obtain the phase using least-squares estimation technique. In this paper, we propose a generalized approach, which accurately estimates the phase shifts in the presence of noise. The method is based on the idea of linear prediction and explores the fact that sampling more data frames yields a reliable phase step estimate in a least-squares sense. We also compare our method with a commonly used generalized phase-shifting method based on histogram analysis and show that our proposed approach is highly effective. We also present simulation and experimental validations of our proposed method. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.