Joint source channel rate-distortion analysis for adaptive mode selection and rate control in wireless video coding

Zhihai He, Jianfei Cai, Chang Wen Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

352 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we first develop a rate-distortion (R-D) model for DCT-based video coding incorporating the macroblock (MB) intra refreshing rate. For any given bit rate and intra refreshing rate, this model is capable of estimating the corresponding coding distortion even before a video frame is coded. We then present a theoretical analysis of the picture distortion caused by channel errors and the subsequent inter-frame propagation. Based on this analysis, we develop a statistical model to estimate such channel errors induced distortion for different channel conditions and encoder settings. The proposed analytic model mathematically describes the complex behavior of channel errors in a video coding and transmission system. Unlike other experimental approaches for distortion estimation reported in the literature, this analytic model has very low computational complexity and implementation cost, which are highly desirable in wireless video applications. Simulation results show that this model is able to accurately estimate the channel errors induced distortion with a minimum delay in processing. Based on the proposed source coding R-D model and the analytic channel-distortion estimation, we derive an analytic solution for adaptive intra mode selection and joint source-channel rate control under time-varying wireless channel conditions. Extensive experimental results demonstrate that this scheme significantly improves to end-to-end video quality in wireless video coding and transmission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-523
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • End-to-end distortion
  • Error propagation
  • Joint source-channel coding
  • Rate-distortion analysis
  • Wireless video

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