Synthetic test patterns and compression artefact distortion metrics for image codecs : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
This thesis presents a framework of test methodology to assess spatial domain
compression artefacts produced by image and intra-frame coded video codecs. Few
researchers have studied this broad range of artefacts. A taxonomy of image and video
compression artefacts is proposed. This is based on the point of origin of the artefact
in the image communication model. This thesis presents objective evaluation of
distortions known as artefacts due to image and intra-frame coded video compression
made using synthetic test patterns. The American National Standard Institute
document ANSI T1 801 qualitatively defines blockiness, blur and ringing artefacts.
These definitions have been augmented with quantitative definitions in conjunction
with test patterns proposed.
A test and measurement environment is proposed in which the codec under test is
exercised using a portfolio of test patterns. The test patterns are designed to highlight
the artefact under study. Algorithms have been developed to detect and measure
individual artefacts based on the characteristics of respective artefacts. Since the
spatial contents of the original test patterns form known structural details, the artefact
distortion metrics based on the characteristics of those artefacts are clean and swift to
calculate. Distortion metrics are validated using a human vision system inspired
modern image quality metric.
Blockiness, blur and ringing artefacts are evaluated for representative codecs using
proposed synthetic test patterns. Colour bleeding due to image and video compression
is discussed with both qualitative and quantitative definitions for the colour bleeding
artefacts introduced. The image reproduction performance of a few codecs was
evaluated to ascertain the utility of proposed metrics and test patterns.