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

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Massey University
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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.
Image quality, Image compression