Temporally Dependent Rate-Distortion Optimization for Low-Delay Hierarchical Video Coding
1992-2012 IEEE. Low-delay hierarchical coding structure (LD-HCS), as one of the most important components in the latest High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard, greatly improves coding performance. It groups consecutive P/B frames into different layers and encodes them with different quantization parameters (QPs) and reference mechanisms in such a way that temporal dependency among frames can be exploited. However, due to varying characteristics of video contents, temporal dependency among coding units differs significantly from each other in the same or different layers, while a fixed LD-HCS scheme cannot take full advantage of the dependency, leading to a substantial loss in coding performance. This paper addresses the temporally dependent rate distortion optimization (RDO) problem by attempting to exploit varying temporal dependency of different units. First, the temporal relationship of different frames under the LD-HCS is examined, and hierarchical temporal propagation chains are constructed to represent the temporal dependency among coding units in different frames. Then, a hierarchical temporally dependent RDO scheme is developed specifically for the LD-HCS based on a source distortion propagation model. Experimental results show that our proposed scheme can achieve 2.5% and 2.3% BD-rate gain in average compared with the HEVC codec under the same configuration of P and B frames, respectively, with a negligible increase in encoding time. Furthermore, coupled with QP adaption, our proposed method can achieve higher coding gains, e.g., with multi-QP optimization, about 5.4% and 5.0% BD-rate saving in average over the HEVC codec under the same setting of P and B frames, respectively.