In this paper, we present a new algorithm that adaptively selects the best possible reference frame for the predictive coding of generalized, or multi-view, video signals, based on estimated prediction similarity with the desired frame. We define similarity between two frames as the absence of occlusion, and we estimate this quantity from the variance of composite displacement vector maps. The composite maps are obtained without requiring the computationally intensive process of motion estimation for each candidate reference frame. We provide prediction and compression performance results for generalized video signals using both this scheme and schemes where the reference frames were heuristically pre- selected. When the predicted frames were used in a modified MPEG encoder simulation, the signal compressed using the adaptively selected reference frames required, on average, more than 10% fewer bits to encode than the non-adaptive techniques; for individual frames, the reduction in bits was sometimes more than 80%. These gains were obtained with an acceptable computational increase and an inconsequential bit-count overhead.