This paper presents a Rate-Distortion based optimization procedure for video coding that explicitly incorporates a perceptual distortion measure. A flexible MINMAX (minimizing the maximum distortion) optimization procedure based on Linear Programming (LP) is used to minimize the variation in distortion across frames. The distortion measure utilizes a multi-channel human vision model to generate a map of the perceived distortion at each pixel in a frame. This map is then collapsed into a single frame-level distortion. Lagrangian optimization is employed within each frame to assign macroblock-level quantization step-sizes that minimize this frame-level distortion. Coding results with MPEG-2 show a large reduction in peak perceived distortion with respect to TM5 as well as lower variation in distortion across the frames in the video sequence. Although results are presented for a specific metric, the LP based optimization procedure easily extends to other distortion measures.
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