SSIM-Based Game Theory Approach for Rate-Distortion Optimized Intra Frame CTU-Level Bit Allocation


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

64 Citations (Scopus)


A structural similarity (SSIM)-based game theory (GT) approach is proposed for rate-distortion (R-D) optimized CTU-level bit allocation in high efficiency video coding (HEVC). First, a SSIM-based bargaining game is formulated and the Nash bargaining solution (NBS) is proposed, in which a SSIMbased initial minimum utility is defined. Second, we propose a two-stage remaining bit refinement-based bit allocation scheme. The optimization scheme of the SSIM-based bargaining game sufficiently considers the different R-D characteristics of coding tree units (CTUs), in which the feasible utility set is proved to be convex based on the proposed SSIM-based utility and RSSIM model. Compared with the other state-of-the-art CTUlevel bit allocation methods, the R-D performance improvements on Bjøntegaard delta bit-rate (BD-BR), Bjøntegaard delta peak-signal-to-noise-ratio (BD-PSNR), and BD-SSIM metrics of the proposed method can averagely achieve significant gains, respectively. The achieved R-D performance gains have been very close to the coding performance limits from the FixedQP method. Moreover, the proposed SSIM-GT method also maintains good performances on quality smoothness, bit rate accuracy, and encoding complexity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)988-999
JournalIEEE Transactions on Multimedia
Issue number6
Early online date2 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This work was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 61272289


  • bit allocation
  • Coding Tree Unit (CTU)
  • game theory (GT)
  • HEVC
  • Nash Bargaining Solution (NBS)
  • rate control (RC)
  • resource allocation
  • Structural Similarity (SSIM)


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