Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Wilfrido A. Moreno, Ph.D.

Committee Member

James T. Leffew, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Wei Qian, Ph.D.


h.263, compression, deformable super quadrics, video segmentation, medical imaging, network behavior


The use of digitized information is rapidly gaining acceptance in bio-medical applications. Video compression plays an important role in the archiving and transmission of different digital diagnostic modalities. The present scheme of video compression for low bit-rate networks is not suitable for medical video sequences. The instability is the result of block artifacts resulting from the block based DCT coefficient quantization. The possibility of applying deformable motion estimation techniques to make the video compression standard (H.263) more adaptable for bio-medial applications was studied in detail. The study on the network characteristics and the behavior of various congestion control mechanisms was used to analyze the complete characteristics of existing low bit rate video compression algorithms.

The study was conducted in three phases. The first phase involved the implementation and study of the present H.263 compression standard and its limitations. The second phase dealt with the analysis of an external force for active contours which was used to obtain estimates for deformable objects. The external force, which is termed Gradient Vector Flow (GVF), was computed as a diffusion of the gradient vectors associated with a gray-level or binary edge map derived from the image. The mathematical aspect of a multi-scale framework based on a medial representation for the segmentation and shape characterization of anatomical objects in medical imagery was derived in detail. The medial representations were based on a hierarchical representation of linked figural models such as protrusions, indentations, neighboring figures and included figures--which represented solid regions and their boundaries. The third phase dealt with the vital parameters for effective video streaming over the internet in the bottleneck bandwidth, which gives the upper limit for the speed of data delivery from one end point to the other in a network. If a codec attempts to send data beyond this limit, all packets above the limit will be lost. On the other hand, sending under this limit will clearly result in suboptimal video quality. During this phase the packet-drop-rate (PDR) performance of TCP(1/2) was investigated in conjunction with a few representative TCP-friendly congestion control protocols (CCP).

The CCPs were TCP(1/256), SQRT(1/256) and TFRC (256), with and without self clocking. The CCPs were studied when subjected to an abrupt reduction in the available bandwidth. Additionally, the investigation studied the effect on the drop rates of TCP-Compatible algorithms by changing the queuing scheme from Random Early Detection (RED) to DropTail.