A Global Appearance and Local Coding Distortion based Fusion Framework for CNN based Filtering in Video Coding

24 Jun 2021  ·  Jian Yue, Yanbo Gao, Shuai Li, Hui Yuan, Frédéric Dufaux ·

In-loop filtering is used in video coding to process the reconstructed frame in order to remove blocking artifacts. With the development of convolutional neural networks (CNNs), CNNs have been explored for in-loop filtering considering it can be treated as an image de-noising task. However, in addition to being a distorted image, the reconstructed frame is also obtained by a fixed line of block based encoding operations in video coding. It carries coding-unit based coding distortion of some similar characteristics. Therefore, in this paper, we address the filtering problem from two aspects, global appearance restoration for disrupted texture and local coding distortion restoration caused by fixed pipeline of coding. Accordingly, a three-stream global appearance and local coding distortion based fusion network is developed with a high-level global feature stream, a high-level local feature stream and a low-level local feature stream. Ablation study is conducted to validate the necessity of different features, demonstrating that the global features and local features can complement each other in filtering and achieve better performance when combined. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first one that clearly characterizes the video filtering process from the above global appearance and local coding distortion restoration aspects with experimental verification, providing a clear pathway to developing filter techniques. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method significantly outperforms the existing single-frame based methods and achieves 13.5%, 11.3%, 11.7% BD-Rate saving on average for AI, LDP and RA configurations, respectively, compared with the HEVC reference software.

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