Video Quality Driven Buffer Sizing via Frame Drops

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We study the impact of video frame drops in buffer constrained multiprocessor system-on-chip (MPSoC) platforms. Since on-chip buffer memory occupies a significant amount of silicon area, accurate buffer sizing has attracted a lot of research interest lately. However, all previous work studied this problem with the underlying assumption that no video frame drops can be tolerated. In reality, multimedia applications can often tolerate some frame drops without significantly deteriorating their output quality. Although system simulations can be used to perform video quality driven buffer sizing, they are time consuming. In this paper, we first demonstrate a dual-buffer management scheme to drop only the less significant frames. Based on this scheme, we then propose a formal framework to evaluate the buffer size vs. video quality trade-offs, which in turn will help a system designer to perform quality driven buffer sizing. In particular, we mathematically characterize the maximum numbers of frame drops for various buffer sizes and evaluate how they affect the worst-case PSNR value of the decoded video. We evaluate our proposed framework with an MPEG-2 decoder and compare the obtained results with that of a cycle-accurate simulator. Our evaluations show that for an acceptable quality of 30 dB, it is possible to reduce the buffer size by upto 28.6% which amounts to 25.88 megabits.

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17th IEEE International Conference on Embedded and Real-Time Computing Systems and Applications (RTCSA), Toyama, Japan, Aug 2011.
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