Measuring YouTube’s Perceptual Video High quality


On-line video sharing platforms, like YouTube, want to grasp perceptual video high quality (i.e., a consumer’s subjective notion of video high quality) with a purpose to higher optimize and enhance consumer expertise. Video high quality evaluation (VQA) makes an attempt to construct a bridge between video indicators and perceptual high quality by utilizing 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 concentrate on 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, the vast majority of the movies which might be uploaded on YouTube are user-generated content material (UGC), which deliver new challenges on account of their remarkably excessive variability in video content material and unique high quality. Most UGC uploads are non-pristine and the identical quantity of relative distinction might indicate 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 of the range uploads. Thus, reference-based high quality scores grow to be inaccurate and inconsistent when used for UGC instances. 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 dimension (e.g., LIVE-Qualcomm has 208 samples captured from 54 distinctive scenes), in contrast with datasets with tens of millions 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“, printed at CVPR 2021, we describe how we try to unravel 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 offers 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 accommodates 1.5K consultant UGC samples from tens of millions of UGC movies (distributed below the Artistic Commons license) on YouTube. The up to date dataset accommodates ground-truth labels for each unique 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 instances. We acquire 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 section and video compression artifacts launched by third-party platforms, e.g., transcoding or transmission, will degrade the general high quality.

MOS= 2.052MOS= 4.457
Left: A video with no significant content material will not obtain a top quality MOS. Proper: A video displaying intense sports activities reveals a better MOS.
MOS= 1.242MOS= 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 section) reveals a top quality MOS.
MOS= 2.372MOS= 4.646
Left: A closely compressed video receives a low high quality MOS. Proper: a video with out compression artifacts reveals 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 rationalization is that viewers might have greater video high quality expectations for movies which have a transparent narrative construction, like gaming movies, and the blur artifacts considerably scale back the perceptual high quality of the video.

UVQ Mannequin Framework

A typical technique 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 specialists. Additionally, essentially the most helpful current handcrafted options have been summarized from restricted samples, which can not carry out properly on broader UGC instances. In distinction, machine studying is turning into extra outstanding in UGC-VQA as a result of it could possibly routinely study options from large-scale samples.

A simple method is to coach a mannequin from scratch on current UGC high quality datasets. Nonetheless, this is probably not 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 allows us to study complete quality-related options, with out ground-truth MOS, from tens of millions 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 educated in a supervised studying trend with UGC-specific content material labels which might be generated by the YouTube-8M mannequin. DistortionNet is educated to detect widespread distortions, e.g., Gaussian blur and white noise of the unique body. CompressionNet focuses on video compression artifacts, whose coaching knowledge are movies compressed with completely different bitrates. CompressionNet is educated utilizing two compressed variants of the identical content material which might be fed into the mannequin to foretell corresponding compression ranges (with a better rating for extra noticeable compression artifacts), with the implicit assumption that the upper bitrate model has a decrease compression degree.

The ContentNet, DistortionNet and CompressionNet subnetworks are educated on large-scale samples with out ground-truth high quality scores. Since video decision can also be an essential 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 possibilities 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 possibilities in parentheses, i.e., jitter (0.112), coloration quantization (0.111), lens blur (0.108), denoise (0.107).
CompressionNet detects a excessive compression degree of 0.892 for the video above.

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

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

In follow, 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 degree (e.g., low or excessive compression). Beneath, UVQ stories 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 consumer specialists, demonstrating that UVQ can purpose by way of 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, coloration 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 tens of millions of UGC movies and offers a constant view of high quality interpretation for each no-reference and reference instances. To study extra, learn our paper or go to our web site to see YT-UGC movies and their subjective high quality knowledge. We additionally hope that the improved YouTube-UGC dataset allows extra analysis on this house.


This work was attainable by way of a collaboration spanning a number of Google groups. Key contributors embody: 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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here