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Gradient Ascent Subjective Multimedia Quality Testing

Author(s): Voran Stephen | Catellier Andrew

Journal: EURASIP Journal on Image and Video Processing
ISSN 1687-5176

Volume: 2011;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 472185;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Subjective testing is the most direct means of assessing multimedia quality as experienced by users. When multiple dimensions must be evaluated, these tests can become slow and costly. We present gradient ascent subjective testing (GAST) as an efficient way to locate optimizing sets of coding or transmission parameter values. GAST combines gradient ascent optimization techniques with subjective test trials. As a proof-of-concept, we used GAST to search a two-dimensional parameter space for the known region of maximal audio quality, using paired-comparison listening trials. That region was located accurately and much more efficiently than use of an exhaustive search. We also used GAST to search a two-dimensional quantizer design space for a point of maximal image quality, using side-by-side paired-comparison trials. The point of maximal image quality was efficiently located, and the corresponding quantizer shape and deadzone agree closely with the quantizer specifications for JPEG 2000, Part 1.
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