End to end Multi-Objective Optimisation of H.264 and HEVC Codecs

2018-06-12T08:44:22Z (GMT) by Maryam Mohsin Salim Al Barwani
All multimedia devices now incorporate video CODECs that comply with international video coding standards such as H.264 / MPEG4-AVC and the new High Efficiency Video Coding Standard (HEVC) otherwise known as H.265. Although the standard CODECs have been designed to include algorithms with optimal efficiency, large number of coding parameters can be used to fine tune their operation, within known constraints of for e.g., available computational power, bandwidth, consumer QoS requirements, etc. With large number of such parameters involved, determining which parameters will play a significant role in providing optimal quality of service within given constraints is a further challenge that needs to be met. Further how to select the values of the significant parameters so that the CODEC performs optimally under the given constraints is a further important question to be answered. This thesis proposes a framework that uses machine learning algorithms to model the performance of a video CODEC based on the significant coding parameters. Means of modelling both the Encoder and Decoder performance is proposed. We define objective functions that can be used to model the performance related properties of a CODEC, i.e., video quality, bit-rate and CPU time. We show that these objective functions can be practically utilised in video Encoder/Decoder designs, in particular in their performance optimisation within given operational and practical constraints. A Multi-objective Optimisation framework based on Genetic Algorithms is thus proposed to optimise the performance of a video codec. The framework is designed to jointly minimize the CPU Time, Bit-rate and to maximize the quality of the compressed video stream. The thesis presents the use of this framework in the performance modelling and multi-objective optimisation of the most widely used video coding standard in practice at present, H.264 and the latest video coding standard, H.265/HEVC. When a communication network is used to transmit video, performance related parameters of the communication channel will impact the end-to-end performance of the video CODEC. Network delays and packet loss will impact the quality of the video that is received at the decoder via the communication channel, i.e., even if a video CODEC is optimally configured network conditions will make the experience sub-optimal. Given the above the thesis proposes a design, integration and testing of a novel approach to simulating a wired network and the use of UDP protocol for the transmission of video data. This network is subsequently used to simulate the impact of packet loss and network delays on optimally coded video based on the framework previously proposed for the modelling and optimisation of video CODECs. The quality of received video under different levels of packet loss and network delay is simulated, concluding the impact on transmitted video based on their content and features.