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Very low bit-rate video coding using variable block-size entropy-constrained residual vector quantizers

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3 Author(s)
Heesung Kwon ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., State Univ. of New York, Buffalo, NY, USA ; Venkatramam, M. ; Nasrabadi, N.M.

We present a practical video coding algorithm for use at very low bit rates. For efficient coding at very low bit rates, it is important to intelligently allocate bits within a frame, and so a powerful variable-rate algorithm is required. We use vector quantization to encode the motion-compensated residue signal in an H.263-like framework. For a given complexity, it is well understood that structured vector quantizers perform better than unstructured and unconstrained vector quantizers. A combination of structured vector quantizers is used in our work to encode the video sequences. The proposed codec is a multistage residual vector quantizer, with transform vector quantizers in the initial stages. The transform-VQ captures the low-frequency information, using only a small portion of the bit budget, while the later stage residual VQ captures the high-frequency information, using the remaining bits. We used a strategy to adaptively refine only areas of high activity, using recursive decomposition and selective refinement in the later stages. An entropy constraint was used to modify the codebooks to allow better entropy coding of the indexes. We evaluate the performance of the proposed codec, and compare this data with the performance of the H.263-based codec. Experimental results show that the proposed codec delivered significantly better perceptual quality along with better quantitative performance

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Selected Areas in Communications, IEEE Journal on  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 9 )