Optimal bit allocation for coding of video signals over ATM networks

Jiann Jone Chen*, David W. Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

54 Scopus citations


We consider optimal encoding of video sequences for ATM networks. Two cases are investigated. In one, the video units are coded independently (e.g., motion JPEG), while in the other, the coding quality of a later picture may depend on that of an earlier picture (e.g., H.26x and MPEGx). The aggregate distortion-rate relationship for the latter case exhibits a tree structure, and its solution commands a higher degree of complexity than the former. For independent coding, we develop an algorithm which employs multiple Lagrange multipliers to find the constrained bit allocation. This algorithm is optimal up to a convex-hull approximation of the distortion-rate relations in the case of CBR (constant bit-rate) transmission. It is suboptimal in the case of VBR (variable bit-rate) transmission by the use of a suboptimal transmission rate control mechanism for simplicity. For dependent coding, the Lagrange-multiplier approach becomes rather unwieldy, and a constrained tree search method is used. The solution is optimal for both CBR and VBR transmission if the full constrained tree is searched. Simulation results are presented which confirm the superiority in coding quality of the encoding algorithms. We also compare the coded video quality and other characteristics of VBR and CBR transmission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1002-1015
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Aug 1997


  • Asynchronous transfer mode
  • Bit allocation
  • Image coding
  • Optimization methods
  • Quantization
  • Rate distortion theory

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