Frame-level Bit Allocation Optimization Based on Video Content Characteristics for HEVC

Zhaoqing PAN, Xiaokai YI, Yun ZHANG, Hui YUAN, Fu Lee WANG, Sam KWONG

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Rate control plays an important role in high efficiency video coding (HEVC), and bit allocation is the foundation of rate control. The video content characteristics are significant for bit allocation, and modeling an accurate relationship between video content characteristics and bit allocation is essential for bit allocation optimization. Therefore, in this article, a video content characteristics-based frame-level optimal bit allocation algorithm is proposed for improving the rate distortion (RD) performance of HEVC. First, the number of search points of motion estimation is used to evaluate the motion activity of video content, and the relationship between the search points and bit allocation is modeled as the search-points model. Second, the grey level co-occurrence matrix and temporal perceptual information are used to evaluate the spatial and temporal texture complexity, and the relationship between the video content texture complexity and bit allocation is modeled as the texture-complexity model. Then, the search-points model and texture-complexity model are jointly employed to allocate the coding bits for the second and third layers of the HEVC hierarchical coding structure. Finally, the remaining coding bits of a group-of-pictures (GOP) are allocated to the first layer of HEVC coding structure. To evaluate the performance of the proposed algorithm, the RD performance and bitrate accuracy are used as evaluation criteria, and the experimental results show that when compared with the popularly used R-λ model-based bit allocation algorithm, the proposed algorithm achieves an average of -3.43% BDBR reduction and 0.13 dB BDPSNR gains with only 0.02% loss of bitrate accuracy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number15
JournalACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This work was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grants 61971232 and 61501246, in part by the Six Talent Peaks Project of Jiangsu Province under Grant XYDXXJS-041, in part by the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China under Grant UGC/FDS/E04/16, in part by the Project through the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions, in part by the Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment Technology.


  • bit allocation
  • HEVC
  • rate control
  • video content characteristics


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