The rate variability-distortion (VD) curve of encoded video and its impact on statistical multiplexing

Patrick Seeling, Martin Reisslein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Encoded video is expected to contribute a significant portion of the load on future communication systems and networks, which often employ statistical multiplexing. In such systems, the number of video streams that can be supported depends both on the mean bit rate as well as bit rate variability of the video streams. At the same time, the utility (revenue) earned from video streaming depends both on the number of supported video streams as well as their quality level. In this paper we examine the interplay between video quality, traffic variability, and utility for open-loop encoded video. We introduce the rate variability-distortion (VD) curve which relates the bit rate variability to the quality level of an encoded video. We find that the VD curve generally exhibits a characteristic "hump" behavior of first increasing, peaking, and subsequently decreasing variability for increasing quality. We examine the impact of video content characteristics, encoding parameters, and traffic smoothing on the VD behavior. We describe a methodology for assessing (i) the set of the video streams that can be supported with a statistical quality of service requirement, and (ii) the utility earned from video streaming over a link. This methodology is based on the rate-distortion and rate variability-distortion characteristics of the videos. We find that the statistical multiplexing gain and the utility as a function of the video quality level typically exhibit a "hump" similar to the VD curve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-491
Number of pages19
JournalIEEE Transactions on Broadcasting
Volume51
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

Keywords

  • Network utility
  • Statistical multiplexing
  • Variable bit rate video
  • Video content
  • Video quality
  • Video streaming
  • Video traffic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Media Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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