Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
the research laboratory of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Stephen D. Voran; Andrew A. Catellier

Abstract: 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.


Keywords: video quality; audio quality; image quality; subjective testing; multimedia quality; Gradient Ascent; GoldenSection Line Search

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Lilli Segre, Publications Officer
Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
(303) 497-3572

For technical information concerning this report, contact:

Stephen D. Voran
Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
(303) 497-3839

Disclaimer: Certain commercial equipment, components, and software may be identified in this report to specify adequately the technical aspects of the reported results. In no case does such identification imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, nor does it imply that the equipment or software identified is necessarily the best available for the particular application or uses.

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