Google Research

Scale-Space Flow for End-to-End Optimized Video Compression

2020 IEEE/CVF Conf. on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)


Despite considerable progress on end-to-end optimized deep networks for image compression, video coding remains a challenging task. Recently proposed methods for learned video compression use optical flow and bilinear warping for motion compensation and show competitive rate-distortion performance relative to hand-engineered codecs like H.264 and HEVC. However, these learning-based methods rely on complex architectures and training schemes including the use of pre-trained optical flow networks, sequential training of sub-networks, adaptive rate control, and buffering intermediate reconstructions to disk during training. In this paper, we show that a generalized warping operator that better handles common failure cases, e.g. disocclusions and fast motion, can provide competitive compression results with a greatly simplified model and training procedure. Specifically, we propose scale-space flow, an intuitive generalization of optical flow that adds a scale parameter to allow the network to better model uncertainty. Our experiments show that a low-latency video compression model (no B-frames) using scale-space flow for motion compensation can outperform analogous state-of-the art learned video compression models while being trained using a much simpler procedure and without any pre-trained optical flow networks.

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