Chapter 41 in The Handbook of Video Databases: Design and Applications, B. Furht and O. Marqure, ed., CRC Press, pp. 1041-1078, Sept. 2003


Objective Video Quality Assessment

Zhou Wang, Hamid R. Sheikh and Alan C. Bovik

Laboratory for Image and Video Engineering (LIVE), The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712

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Abstract: Digital video data, stored in video databases and distributed through communication networks, is subject to various kinds of distortions during acquisition, compression, processing, transmission, and reproduction. It is imperative for a video service system to be able to realize and quantify the video quality degradations that occur in the system, so that it can maintain, control and possibly enhance the quality of the video data. An effective image and video quality metric is crucial for this purpose. The goal of objective image and video quality assessment research is to design quality metrics that can predict perceived image and video quality automatically. Such a metric can be used to monitor image quality for quality control systems. It can be employed to benchmark image and video processing systems and algorithms. It can also be embedded into an image and video processing system to optimize the algorithms and the parameter settings. This chapter mainly focuses on the basic concepts, ideas and approaches for image and video quality assessment. We first review the background and various implementations of a widely adopted error-sensitivity based philosophy for quality assessment and attempt to point out its limitations. We then introduce a new way to think about the problem of image and video quality assessment and provide some preliminary results of a novel structural distortion based quality assessment method. Next, we introduce the current status of quality assessment research for the cases that the reference images are not or only partially available. We also discuss the issues that are related to the validation of image and video quality metrics, including the recent effort by the video quality experts group (VQEG) in developing, validating and standardizing video quality metrics for television and multimedia applications. Finally, we make some concluding remarks and provide a vision for future directions of image and video quality assessment.

Index Terms Image and video quality assessment, perceptual quality, human visual system (HVS), error sensitivity, structural distortion, video quality experts group (VQEG)