Recent rapid advancements in mobile communication and emerging demands for complicated multimedia content and services over mobile systems have caused a dramatic increase in research interest in this area. Among the topics covering multimedia service performance over the wireless interface, the quality of received multimedia content is an important issue. With the increase of visual media in mobile services, user opinion acquired through perception of received image quality will play an increasingly important role in determining the effectiveness of such services. The work documented in this thesis is motivated by the general lack of published work on software test beds for Third Generation Mobile Network (3G) and in particular for investigating mobile environment multimedia quality degradation. A 3G multimedia quality analysis system is presented, subjecting the input multimedia stream to the simulated 3G radio activities and measuring its degradation in terms of human perception. This approach takes a new and different model of multimedia quality measurement in a wireless communication domain, showing the possibility of a more effective approach that can be applied in many cases for assisting service quality assurance research across this area. The development of this software system is covered in detail together with in-depth analysis of multimedia image quality over a simulated 3G radio interface. Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) is the 3G standard chosen for study in this work. The suggested test bed simulates a single Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) downlink UMTS Territorial Radio Access (UTRA) channel, where the received media's image analysis is performed using a Human Vision System (HVS) based image quality metric. The system aims to provide a multipurpose and versatile multimedia 3G test bed for use in testing of various solutions for protecting multimedia data across a 3G radio interface. Furthermore, it produces effective human vision oriented feedback on visual media degradation, providing a new and efficient method to address effectiveness of solutions in multimedia delivery over a mobile environment. This thesis shows the ability of HVS-based image quality metric in analyzing degradation of visual media over a noisy mobile environment. This presents a novel direction in the area of telecommunication service multimedia quality analysis, with potential user quality perception being considered on top of data or signal-based error measurements. With such a new approach, development of multimedia protection solutions can be made more effective. Effective feedback provided by considering quality measurement with strong correlation to human perception allows close analysis of user visual discrimination across an image. An example of the usefulness of this information is especially visible if considering development of a content-based multimedia data protective system that provides different levels of protection, depending on the importance of visual media. An apparent potential application of this thesis is in the testing of a multimedia/image protection protocol in a downlink channel. Future work might aim to extend the current system by adding network level traffic simulations and further addition of dynamic network control components, further considering network traffic conditions
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