Hierarchical B-picture mode decision in H.264/SVC

Tiesong ZHAO, Hanli WANG, Sam KWONG, C.-C. Jay KUO, Wolfgang A. HALANG

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

2 Citations (Scopus)


To enable robust video transmission over heterogeneous networks, the hierarchical B-picture prediction structure is employed in the state-of-the-art video coding standard H.264/SVC, aiming to produce scalable bitstreams with various frame rates. However, the exhaustive mode decision process with the hierarchical B-picture structure increases the computational complexity of H.264/SVC encoding dramatically. In this paper, a fast mode decision algorithm is proposed to speed up H.264/SVC encoding with the hierarchical B-picture structure, which is achieved by utilizing macroblock (MB) features, correlation of temporal-spatial neighboring MBs, and the discrepant characteristics of hierarchical layers. Extensive experimental results demonstrate that the proposed algorithm is able to reduce the encoding time of H.264/SVC significantly for video sequences with a wide range of resolutions, and meanwhile the video quality and compression ratio are well preserved. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-633
JournalJournal of Visual Communication and Image Representation
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This work was supported in part by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council General Research Fund, under Projects 9041353 (CityU 115408) and 9041495 (CityU 115109), the Germany Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship, the Program for Professor of Special Appointment (Eastern Scholar) at Shanghai Institutions of Higher Learning, the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University of China under Grant NCET-10-0634, the Shanghai Pujiang Program, the 2010 Innovation Action Plan of Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality under Grant 10DJ1400300, and the National Basic Research Program (973 Program) of China under Grant 2010CB328101 .


  • All-zero macroblock detection
  • H.264
  • Hierarchical B-picture prediction structure
  • Mode classification
  • Mode decision
  • Neighboring prediction
  • Scalable video coding
  • Temporal scalability


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