A Perceptually Relevant No-Reference Blockiness Metric Based on Local Image Characteristics
© H. Liu and I. Heynderickx. 2009
Received: 4 July 2008
Accepted: 21 January 2009
Published: 2 March 2009
A novel no-reference blockiness metric that provides a quantitative measure of blocking annoyance in block-based DCT coding is presented. The metric incorporates properties of the human visual system (HVS) to improve its reliability, while the additional cost introduced by the HVS is minimized to ensure its use for real-time processing. This is mainly achieved by calculating the local pixel-based distortion of the artifact itself, combined with its local visibility by means of a simplified model of visual masking. The overall computation efficiency and metric accuracy is further improved by including a grid detector to identify the exact location of blocking artifacts in a given image. The metric calculated only at the detected blocking artifacts is averaged over all blocking artifacts in the image to yield an overall blockiness score. The performance of this metric is compared to existing alternatives in literature and shows to be highly consistent with subjective data at a reduced computational load. As such, the proposed blockiness metric is promising in terms of both computational efficiency and practical reliability for real-life applications.
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