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Existing research on Universal Multimedia Access has mainly focused on adapting multimedia to the network characteristics while overlooking the receiver capabilities. Alternatively, part 7 of the MPEG-21 standard entitled Digital Item Adaptation (DIA) defines description tools to guide the multimedia adaptation process based on both the network conditions and the available receiver resources. In this paper, we propose a new and generic rate-distortion-complexity model that can generate such DIA descriptions for image and video decoding algorithms running on various hardware architectures. The novelty of our approach is in virtualizing complexity, i.e., we explicitly model the complexity involved in decoding a bitstream by a generic receiver. This generic complexity is translated dynamically into "real" complexity, which is architecture-specific. The receivers can then negotiate with the media server/proxy the transmission of a bitstream having a desired complexity level based on their resource constraints. Hence, unlike in previous streaming systems, multimedia transmission can be optimized in an integrated rate-distortion-complexity setting by minimizing the incurred distortion under joint rate-complexity constraints.
Date of Publication: June 2005