Measuring YouTube’s Perceptual Video High quality


    On-line video sharing platforms, like YouTube, want to know perceptual video high quality (i.e., a person’s subjective notion of video high quality) as a way to higher optimize and enhance person expertise. Video high quality evaluation (VQA) makes an attempt to construct a bridge between video indicators and perceptual high quality through the use of goal mathematical fashions to approximate the subjective opinions of customers. Conventional video high quality metrics, like peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR) and Video Multi-Methodology Evaluation Fusion (VMAF), are reference-based and give attention to the relative distinction between the goal and reference movies. Such metrics, which work greatest on professionally generated content material (e.g., films), assume the reference video is of pristine high quality and that one can induce the goal video’s absolute high quality from the relative distinction.

    Nonetheless, nearly all of the movies which might be uploaded on YouTube are user-generated content material (UGC), which deliver new challenges as a result of their remarkably excessive variability in video content material and authentic high quality. Most UGC uploads are non-pristine and the identical quantity of relative distinction may suggest very completely different perceptual high quality impacts. For instance, folks are typically much less delicate to the distortions of poor high quality uploads than of top quality uploads. Thus, reference-based high quality scores develop into inaccurate and inconsistent when used for UGC circumstances. Moreover, regardless of the excessive quantity of UGC, there are presently restricted UGC video high quality evaluation (UGC-VQA) datasets with high quality labels. Current UGC-VQA datasets are both small in measurement (e.g., LIVE-Qualcomm has 208 samples captured from 54 distinctive scenes), in contrast with datasets with hundreds of thousands of samples for classification and recognition (e.g., ImageNet and YouTube-8M), or don’t have sufficient content material variability (sampling with out contemplating content material info, like LIVE-VQC and KoNViD-1k).

    In “Wealthy Options for Perceptual High quality Evaluation of UGC Movies“, revealed at CVPR 2021, we describe how we try to resolve the UGC high quality evaluation downside by constructing a Common Video High quality (UVQ) mannequin that resembles a subjective high quality evaluation. The UVQ mannequin makes use of subnetworks to investigate UGC high quality from high-level semantic info to low-level pixel distortions, and gives a dependable high quality rating with rationale (leveraging complete and interpretable high quality labels). Furthermore, to advance UGC-VQA and compression analysis, we improve the open-sourced YouTube-UGC dataset, which comprises 1.5K consultant UGC samples from hundreds of thousands of UGC movies (distributed underneath the Artistic Commons license) on YouTube. The up to date dataset comprises ground-truth labels for each authentic movies and corresponding transcoded variations, enabling us to higher perceive the connection between video content material and its perceptual high quality.

    Subjective Video High quality Evaluation

    To know perceptual video high quality, we leverage an inner crowd-sourcing platform to gather imply opinion scores (MOS) with a scale of 1–5, the place 1 is the bottom high quality and 5 is the very best high quality, for no-reference use circumstances. We accumulate ground-truth labels from the YouTube-UGC dataset and categorize UGC components that have an effect on high quality notion into three high-level classes: (1) content material, (2) distortions, and (3) compression. For instance, a video with no significant content material will not obtain a top quality MOS. Additionally, distortions launched in the course of the video manufacturing part and video compression artifacts launched by third-party platforms, e.g., transcoding or transmission, will degrade the general high quality.

    MOS= 2.052 MOS= 4.457
    Left: A video with no significant content material will not obtain a top quality MOS. Proper: A video displaying intense sports activities exhibits the next MOS.
    MOS= 1.242 MOS= 4.522
    Left: A blurry gaming video will get a really low high quality MOS. Proper: A video with skilled rendering (excessive distinction and sharp edges, often launched within the video manufacturing part) exhibits a top quality MOS.
    MOS= 2.372 MOS= 4.646
    Left: A closely compressed video receives a low high quality MOS. Proper: a video with out compression artifacts exhibits a top quality MOS.

    We exhibit that the left gaming video within the second row of the determine above has the bottom MOS (1.2), even decrease than the video with no significant content material. A attainable clarification is that viewers might have larger video high quality expectations for movies which have a transparent narrative construction, like gaming movies, and the blur artifacts considerably cut back the perceptual high quality of the video.

    UVQ Mannequin Framework

    A standard methodology for evaluating video high quality is to design subtle options, after which map these options to a MOS. Nonetheless, designing helpful handcrafted options is troublesome and time-consuming, even for area consultants. Additionally, probably the most helpful present handcrafted options had been summarized from restricted samples, which can not carry out effectively on broader UGC circumstances. In distinction, machine studying is turning into extra distinguished in UGC-VQA as a result of it could routinely study options from large-scale samples.

    An easy method is to coach a mannequin from scratch on present UGC high quality datasets. Nonetheless, this will not be possible as there are restricted high quality UGC datasets. To beat this limitation, we apply a self-supervised studying step to the UVQ mannequin throughout coaching. This self-supervised step permits us to study complete quality-related options, with out ground-truth MOS, from hundreds of thousands of uncooked movies.

    Following the quality-related classes summarized from the subjective VQA, we develop the UVQ mannequin with 4 novel subnetworks. The primary three subnetworks, which we name ContentNet, DistortionNet and CompressionNet, are used to extract high quality options (i.e., content material, distortion and compression), and the fourth subnetwork, known as AggregationNet, maps the extracted options to generate a single high quality rating. ContentNet is skilled in a supervised studying style with UGC-specific content material labels which might be generated by the YouTube-8M mannequin. DistortionNet is skilled to detect frequent distortions, e.g., Gaussian blur and white noise of the unique body. CompressionNet focuses on video compression artifacts, whose coaching information are movies compressed with completely different bitrates. CompressionNet is skilled utilizing two compressed variants of the identical content material which might be fed into the mannequin to foretell corresponding compression ranges (with the next rating for extra noticeable compression artifacts), with the implicit assumption that the upper bitrate model has a decrease compression stage.

    The ContentNet, DistortionNet and CompressionNet subnetworks are skilled on large-scale samples with out ground-truth high quality scores. Since video decision can also be an necessary high quality issue, the resolution-sensitive subnetworks (CompressionNet and DistortionNet) are patch-based (i.e., every enter body is split into a number of disjointed patches which might be processed individually), which makes it attainable to seize all element on native decision with out downscaling. The three subnetworks extract high quality options which might be then concatenated by the fourth subnetwork, AggregationNet, to foretell high quality scores with area ground-truth MOS from YouTube-UGC.

    The UVQ coaching framework.

    Analyzing Video High quality with UVQ

    After constructing the UVQ mannequin, we use it to investigate the video high quality of samples pulled from YouTube-UGC and exhibit that its subnetworks can present a single high quality rating together with high-level high quality indicators that may assist us perceive high quality points. For instance, DistortionNet detects a number of visible artifacts, e.g., jitter and lens blur, for the center video under, and CompressionNet detects that the underside video has been closely compressed.

    ContentNet assigns content material labels with corresponding chances in parentheses, i.e., automobile (0.58), automobile (0.42), sports activities automobile (0.32), motorsports (0.18), racing (0.11).
    DistortionNet detects and categorizes a number of visible distortions with corresponding chances in parentheses, i.e., jitter (0.112), shade quantization (0.111), lens blur (0.108), denoise (0.107).
    CompressionNet detects a excessive compression stage of 0.892 for the video above.

    Moreover, UVQ can present patch-based suggestions to find high quality points. Beneath, UVQ reviews that the standard of the primary patch (patch at time t = 1) is nice with a low compression stage. Nonetheless, the mannequin identifies heavy compression artifacts within the subsequent patch (patch at time t = 2).

    Patch at time t = 1 Patch at time t = 2
    Compression stage = 0.000 Compression stage = 0.904
    UVQ detects a sudden high quality degradation (excessive compression stage) for an area patch.

    In observe, UVQ can generate a video diagnostic report that features a content material description (e.g., technique online game), distortion evaluation (e.g., the video is blurry or pixelated) and compression stage (e.g., low or excessive compression). Beneath, UVQ reviews that the content material high quality, particular person options, is nice, however the compression and distortion high quality is low. When combining all three options, the general high quality is medium-low. We see that these findings are near the rationale summarized by inner person consultants, demonstrating that UVQ can motive by high quality assessments, whereas offering a single high quality rating.

    UVQ diagnostic report. ContentNet (CT): Online game, technique online game, World of Warcraft, and so on. DistortionNet (DT): multiplicative noise, Gaussian blur, shade saturation, pixelate, and so on. CompressionNet (CP): 0.559 (medium-high compression). Predicted high quality rating in [1, 5]: (CT, DT, CP) = (3.901, 3.216, 3.151), (CT+DT+CP) = 3.149 (medium-low high quality).


    We current the UVQ mannequin, which generates a report with high quality scores and insights that can be utilized to interpret UGC video perceptual high quality. UVQ learns complete high quality associated options from hundreds of thousands of UGC movies and gives a constant view of high quality interpretation for each no-reference and reference circumstances. To study extra, learn our paper or go to our web site to see YT-UGC movies and their subjective high quality information. We additionally hope that the improved YouTube-UGC dataset permits extra analysis on this house.


    This work was attainable by a collaboration spanning a number of Google groups. Key contributors embrace: Balu Adsumilli, Neil Birkbeck, Joong Gon Yim from YouTube and Junjie Ke, Hossein Talebi, Peyman Milanfar from Google Analysis. Because of Ross Wolf, Jayaprasanna Jayaraman, Carena Church, and Jessie Lin for his or her contributions.


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