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Patent Application Titled "Method for Determining Bit Rate and Apparatus Therefor" Published Online (USPTO 20150380049)

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- According to news reporting originating from

Washington, D.C.
, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventors Kim, Giwon (
Seoul
, KR); Kyung, Chong-Min (Daejeon, KR), filed on January 29, 2014, was made available online on January 7, 2016.

No assignee for this patent application has been made.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present application relates to a method for controlling a bit rate and an apparatus therefor, and more specifically to an apparatus, which stores a bit rate varied according to a significance level in a memory, and a method for determining a bit rate.

"As a social interest in a security increases, demands on a black box monitoring camera or a security camera becomes higher.

"A main function of a device for obtaining image information on a predetermined area detects an event such as appearance or a suspected object in a camera area and compresses and stores data according to image information which is obtained until the event is terminated.

"Because the device for obtaining image information receives power from a battery (e.g., a security camera operated by a battery of a vehicle when the vehicle is parked during a few weeks), a reduction in energy consumption is one of the most important issues.

"FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating a conventional device satisfying such a main function. Referring to FIG. 1, a conventional device 100 may operate in an event-driven manner to protect energy consumption according to storage of a frame including less important information.

"That is, other function blocks except for an event detector 120 are generally power-gated and wake up and operate whenever the event detector 120 detects an event.

"A significance level of image information obtained when an event lasts is variable. For example, a significance level of image information including a face image is higher than that of image information including the back of his/her head.

"The significance level is measured through various algorithms such as background subtraction, face detection and recognition, object tracking, behavior analysis, and the like.

"A result of the measured significance level is used to adjust video encoding of a video encoder 140 (e.g., a manner of encoding image information having a high significance level using high image quality).

"Generally, an encoding configuration with a high bit rate and low compression efficiency of an encoding frame needs power consumption units of which the number is smaller than that with high compression efficiency.

"However, as a bit rate of an encoder increases, the energy consumption needed to store encoded image information in a memory increases.

"That is, there is an energy trade-off on a video encoding configuration.

"Furthermore, a memory embedded in an imaging device has a limited memory space to reduce the cost of the imaging device overall.

"Accordingly, determination of a bit rate for encoding has to satisfy a restriction on a memory space in order to consider such constraints.

"The encoding bit rate for minimizing energy depends on an event behavior specified by frequency of event occurrence and duration.

"However, because the event behavior is nondeterministic and non-static, a time-driven encoding bit rate configuration according to the predetermined event behavior is inaccurate and inefficient."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The present disclosure is directed to providing a bit rate determining method and apparatus, capable of minimizing energy consumption by satisfying a restriction on a memory space and an image distortion requirement according to a significance level of image information.

"According to an exemplary embodiment of the inventive concept, a method is provided which determines a bit rate corresponding to a first significance level by an imaging device which stores image information using a bit rate varied according to a significance level. The method may include allocating a memory space for storing obtained image information, determining a bit rate corresponding to the first significance level, the bit rate satisfying a distortion requirement according to the first significance level and making energy consumption minimized when image information having the first significance level is stored, determining whether to exceed the allocated memory space, when image information is processed according to the determined bit rate, and if the allocated memory space is determined as exceeding a size of the processed image information, calculating a bit rate of to a second significance level, which makes a change in energy consumption minimized when the bit rate is lowered, to lower the bit rate of the second significance level.

"The determining of the bit rate may include determining a bit rate in which a sum of energy consumption for video encoding of image information having the first significance level and energy consumption for memory storage is minimized, as the bit rate corresponding to the first significance level.

"The method may further include again performing the determining of whether to exceed the allocated memory space, after the lowering of the bit rate. A bit rate may be determined if a size of image information processed according to a bit rate corresponding to the second significance level satisfies the allocated memory space, and the lowering of the bit rate may be again performed if the size of the processed image information exceeds the allocated memory space.

"The image information may be image information obtained in a divided time area. The method may further include predicting a probability that image information having the first significance level in the divided time area occurs, and the determining of the bit rate may include determining whether to exceed the allocated memory space according to the predicted probability.

"According to an exemplary embodiment of the inventive concept, an imaging device is provided which obtains image information and stores the obtained image information using a bit rate varied according to a significance level of the obtained image information in a memory. The imaging device may include a memory space determination unit configured to allocate a memory space on the memory at which image information obtained in a divided time area is stored, and a bit rate determination unit configured to determine a bit rate corresponding to a first significance level in consideration of the memory space allocated by the memory space determination unit.

"The bit rate determination unit may determine a bit rate of the first significance level which satisfies a distortion requirement according to the first significance level and makes energy consumption minimized when image information having the first significance level is stored, and if a size of image information processed according to the determined bit rate exceeds the allocated memory space, the bit rate determination unit may calculate a bit rate of a second significance level which makes a change in energy consumption minimized when the bit rate is lowered, to lower the bit rate of the second significance level.

"The imaging device may further include an event occurrence prediction unit configured to predict a probability that image information having the first significance level in the divided time area occurs, and the bit rate determination unit may determine whether to exceed the allocated memory space according to the probability predicted by the event occurrence prediction unit.

"The details of other embodiments may be included in the detailed description and drawings.

"According to an exemplary embodiment of the inventive concept, it may be possible to minimize energy consumption by satisfying an image distortion requirement according to the restriction on a memory space and a significance level of image information.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a conventional image device operating in an event-driven manner;

"FIG. 2 is a flow chart of a bit rate determination method according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 3 is a graph illustrating a change in energy consumption according to a bit rate; and

"FIG. 4 is a block diagram of an imaging device according to an embodiment of the present invention."

For more information, see this patent application: Kim, Giwon; Kyung, Chong-Min. Method for Determining Bit Rate and Apparatus Therefor. Filed January 29, 2014 and posted January 7, 2016. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=2481&p=50&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20151231.PD.&OS=PD/20151231&RS=PD/20151231

Keywords for this news article include: Patents.

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Source: Equities.com News (January 14, 2016 - 6:48 PM EST)

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