A practical convolutional neural network as loop filter for intra frame

16 May 2018  ·  Xiaodan Song, Jiabao Yao, Lulu Zhou, Li Wang, Xiaoyang Wu, Di Xie, Shiliang Pu ·

Loop filters are used in video coding to remove artifacts or improve performance. Recent advances in deploying convolutional neural network (CNN) to replace traditional loop filters show large gains but with problems for practical application. First, different model is used for frames encoded with different quantization parameter (QP), respectively. It is expensive for hardware. Second, float points operation in CNN leads to inconsistency between encoding and decoding across different platforms. Third, redundancy within CNN model consumes precious computational resources. This paper proposes a CNN as the loop filter for intra frames and proposes a scheme to solve the above problems. It aims to design a single CNN model with low redundancy to adapt to decoded frames with different qualities and ensure consistency. To adapt to reconstructions with different qualities, both reconstruction and QP are taken as inputs. After training, the obtained model is compressed to reduce redundancy. To ensure consistency, dynamic fixed points (DFP) are adopted in testing CNN. Parameters in the compressed model are first quantized to DFP and then used for inference of CNN. Outputs of each layer in CNN are computed by DFP operations. Experimental results on JEM 7.0 report 3.14%, 5.21%, 6.28% BD-rate savings for luma and two chroma components with all intra configuration when replacing all traditional filters.

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