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Layered-Based Coding, Smoothing, and Scheduling of Low-Bit-Rate Video for Teleconferencing Over Tactical ATM Networks

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This work investigates issues related to distribution of low bit rate video within the context of a teleconferencing application deployed over a tactical ATM network. The main objective is to develop mechanisms that support transmission of low bit rate video streams as a series of scalable layers that progressively improve quality. The hierarchical nature of the layered video stream is actively exploited along the transmission path from the sender to the recipients to facilitate transmission. A new layered coder design tailored to video teleconferencing in the tactical environment is proposed. Macroblocks selected due to scene motion are layered via subband decomposition using the fast Haar transform. A generalized layering scheme groups the subbands to form an arbitrary number of layers. As a layering scheme suitable for low motion video is unsuitable for static slides, the coder adapts the layering scheme to the video content. A suboptimal rate control mechanism that reduces the kappa dimensional rate distortion problem resulting from the use of multiple quantizers tailored to each layer to a 1 dimensional problem by creating a single rate distortion curve for the coder in terms of a suboptimal set of kappa dimensional quantizer vectors is investigated. Rate control is thus simplified into a table lookup of a codebook containing the suboptimal quantizer vectors. The rate controller is ideal for real time video and limits fluctuations in the bit stream with no corresponding visible fluctuations in perceptual quality. A traffic smoother prior to network entry is developed to increase queuing and scheduler efficiency. Three levels of smoothing are studied frame, layer, and cell interarrival. Frame level smoothing occurs via rate control at the application. Interleaving and cell interarrival smoothing are accomplished using a leaky bucket mechanism inserted prior to the adaptation layer or within the adaptation layer.

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  • Computer Systems

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