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Fine-granular scalable (FGS) technologies in H.264/AVC-based scalable video coding (SVC) provide a flexible foundation to accommodate different network capacities. To support efficient quality extraction, it is important to obtain the rate-distortion (R-D) or Distortion-Rate (D-R) function of each individual picture or a group of pictures (GOP). In this paper, firstly, the R-D function of SVC FGS pictures is analyzed with generalized Gaussian model and the D-R curve is proved to be a concave function overall. Considering the current sub-bitplane technology, the D-R function is revisited and inferred to be linear under MSE criterion within an FGS level, which also explains why the observed D-R curve with PSNR criterion is a piece-wise convex function. Secondly, the drift issue of SVC is analyzed, and a simple and effective distortion model is proposed to estimate the reconstruction distortion with drift error. Thirdly, with the above analysis and models, a virtual GOP concept is introduced, and a new priority setting algorithm is designed to achieve the optimal R-D performance in a virtual GOP. The D-R slope of each FGS packet and the D-R function of each virtual GOP are also obtained during the process. Finally, the D-R slopes of FGS levels are used in quality layer assignment to achieve equivalent coding efficiency to the SVC test model but with significantly reduced complexity. The D-R functions of virtual GOPs are utilized to design a practical method for smooth quality reconstruction. Compared to the prior methods, the smoothed video quality is improved not only objectively but also subjectively.
Circuits and Systems for Video Technology, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:19 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: March 2009