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Open Access GPGPU based implementation of a high performing No Reference (NR) - IQA algorithm, BLIINDS-II

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A relatively recent thrust in IQA research has focused on estimating the quality of a distorted image without access to the original (reference) image. Algorithms for this so-called noreference IQA (NR IQA) have made great strides over the last several years, with some NR algorithms rivaling full-reference algorithms in terms of prediction accuracy. However, there still remains a large gap in terms of runtime performance; NR algorithms remain significantly slower than FR algorithms, owing largely to their reliance on natural-scene statistics and other ensemble-based computations. To address this issue, this paper presents a GPGPU implementation, using NVidia's CUDA platform, of the popular Blind Image Integrity Notator using DCT Statistics (BLIINDS-II) algorithm [8], a state of the art NR-IQA algorithm. We copied the image over to the GPU and performed the DCT and the statistical modeling using the GPU. These operations, for each 5x5 pixel window, are executed in parallel. We evaluated the implementation by using NVidia Visual Profiler, and we compared the implementation to a previously optimized CPU C++ implementation. By employing suitable optimizations on code, we were able to reduce the runtime for each 512x512 image from approximately 270 ms down to approximately 9 ms, which includes the time for all data transfers across PCIe bus. We discuss our unique implementation of BLIINDS-II designed specifically for use on the GPU, the insights gained from the runtime analyses, and how the GPGPU techniques developed here can be adapted for use in other NR IQA algorithms.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 29, 2017

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