EENGM4021 Image and Video Coding UOB Assignment Sample UK

Image and Video Coding is a specialized course offered at the University of Bristol (UOB) in the United Kingdom. This course focuses on the fundamental principles and techniques used in the compression and coding of digital images and videos.

By the end of the course, students will have a solid understanding of image and video coding principles and techniques. They will be able to apply these concepts to develop efficient compression solutions for various applications, including multimedia streaming, video conferencing, and digital broadcasting.

EENGM4021 Image and Video Coding at UOB equips students with valuable skills in the field of multimedia compression, which are in high demand in industries such as entertainment, broadcasting, telecommunications, and multimedia technology.

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Assignment Activity 1: Describe the limitations of the human visual system and the psychovisual redundancy that exists in image and video content.

The human visual system has certain limitations that affect our perception of images and videos. These limitations include:

  1. Spatial Resolution: The human eye has a finite spatial resolution, which means it cannot perceive fine details beyond a certain level. This limitation is known as visual acuity.
  2. Color Sensitivity: The human eye is more sensitive to certain colors, such as green, than others. This non-uniform sensitivity can impact the perception of color in images and videos.
  3. Temporal Resolution: The human eye has a limited ability to perceive rapid changes in visual stimuli. This limitation affects our perception of motion in videos.

Psychovisual redundancy refers to the fact that certain information in images and videos is visually redundant, meaning it can be removed without significantly affecting the perceived quality. The human visual system is more sensitive to certain types of information than others. For example, we are more sensitive to changes in brightness than changes in color. By exploiting this redundancy, image and video coding schemes can reduce the amount of data required to represent an image or video without a noticeable loss in quality.

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Assignment Activity 2: Describe the principles and capabilities of commonly adopted image and video coding schemes and how visual redundancy can be exploited.

Commonly adopted image and video coding schemes, such as JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) for images and MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) for videos, are based on the principles of compression and exploiting visual redundancy.

These coding schemes typically use techniques such as:

  1. Transform Coding: Transform coding techniques, such as the Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT), are used to convert spatial image/video data into a frequency domain representation. This transformation helps exploit the spatial redundancy present in the data.
  2. Quantization: Quantization is the process of reducing the precision of the transformed data. By discarding less visually significant information, quantization exploits the psychovisual redundancy present in the data.
  3. Entropy Coding: Entropy coding techniques, such as Huffman coding or arithmetic coding, are used to further compress the quantized data by assigning shorter codes to more frequently occurring symbols. This coding exploits the statistical properties of the data.

Assignment Activity 3: Explain rate-distortion trade-offs and the effects of coding artifacts on subjective performance for both filterbank and DCT-based schemes.

Rate-distortion trade-off refers to the relationship between the bit rate (or compression ratio) and the perceived quality of a compressed image or video. As the bit rate decreases, the compressed data becomes smaller, but the quality of the reconstructed image or video decreases. There is a trade-off between the amount of compression (lower bit rate) and the resulting distortion (reduced quality).

In both filterbank and DCT-based coding schemes, the compression process introduces coding artifacts that can affect the subjective performance:

  1. Block-based Artifacts: In DCT-based schemes, blocking artifacts can occur due to dividing the image or video into blocks for compression. These artifacts manifest as visible discontinuities or checkerboard-like patterns at block boundaries.
  2. Blurring Artifacts: Both filterbank and DCT-based schemes can introduce blurring artifacts, known as ringing artifacts, around sharp edges or transitions in the image or video.

These coding artifacts can degrade the perceived quality of the compressed content, especially at lower bit rates.

Assignment Activity 4: Design image and video coding algorithms for both lossy and lossless compression, taking into account the influence of all stages (motion estimation, transformation, quantization, scanning, and entropy coding) in the coding process.

To design image and video coding algorithms for both lossy and lossless compression, the following stages need to be considered:

  1. Motion Estimation: Motion estimation techniques are used to identify and represent the motion between frames in a video. This stage helps exploit temporal redundancy and improve compression efficiency.
  2. Transformation: Transformation techniques, such as DCT or wavelet transforms, convert the spatial data into a frequency domain representation. The choice of transformation can impact the compression efficiency and visual quality.
  3. Quantization: Quantization is applied to the transformed coefficients, reducing their precision based on their visual significance. This stage determines the trade-off between compression ratio and visual quality.
  4. Scanning: Scanning defines the order in which the quantized coefficients are arranged for efficient entropy coding. Different scanning orders can affect the compression efficiency.
  5. Entropy Coding: Entropy coding techniques assign shorter codes to more probable symbols, reducing the overall bit rate. Techniques like Huffman coding or arithmetic coding can be employed at this stage.

Designing efficient algorithms involves optimizing each stage to achieve the desired compression performance while minimizing visual artifacts and preserving essential visual information.

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Assignment Activity 5: Explain the effects of channel errors on the decoded signal for both DCT and wavelet schemes and select and realize schemes for combating these effects.

Channel errors, such as transmission or storage errors, can introduce errors in the decoded signal for both DCT and wavelet-based schemes:

  1. DCT-Based Schemes: In DCT-based schemes, channel errors can result in blocking artifacts, causing visible discontinuities at block boundaries. These errors can also propagate and affect nearby blocks, further degrading the overall visual quality.
  2. Wavelet-Based Schemes: In wavelet-based schemes, channel errors can lead to spatially spread errors, affecting multiple regions in the image or video. These errors can cause blurring or ringing artifacts around edges and transitions.

To combat the effects of channel errors, error resilience techniques can be employed, such as:

  1. Error Concealment: Error concealment techniques aim to replace the corrupted or lost data with estimated or interpolated values based on the surrounding information. This helps to mask the visual artifacts caused by channel errors.
  2. Error Resilience Coding: Error resilience coding techniques add redundancy to the coded data, allowing the decoder to recover from errors more effectively. Examples include adding error correction codes or using scalable coding techniques that provide multiple levels of quality.

By incorporating these error resilience techniques, the visual quality of the decoded signal can be improved even in the presence of channel errors.

Assignment Activity 6: Outline the international standards activities.

International standards activities play a crucial role in the development and adoption of image and video coding standards. These activities are carried out by organizations such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The following are some key aspects of international standards activities:

  1. Development of Standards: International organizations collaborate to develop and maintain standards for image and video coding. Examples include JPEG (ISO/IEC 10918) for still image coding and MPEG (ISO/IEC 23000) for video coding.
  2. Standardization Process: The standardization process involves the participation of experts from various domains, including academia, industry, and government agencies. Working groups are formed, and consensus-based discussions lead to the development of technical specifications.
  3. Evaluation and Validation: Standards activities include the evaluation and validation of coding algorithms through subjective and objective quality assessment methodologies. These assessments help ensure that the proposed standards meet the requirements of different applications.
  4. Interoperability and Compliance: International standards aim to ensure interoperability among different systems and devices. Compliance testing and certification processes are established to verify that implementations conform to the standard specifications.

By establishing international standards, these activities promote interoperability, facilitate technological advancements, and enable widespread adoption of image and video coding technologies across different platforms and applications.

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