Accelerating HEVC inter prediction with improved merge mode handling

Zhengxue Cheng*, Heming Sun, Dajiang Zhou, Shinji Kimura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC/H.265) obtains 50% bit rate reduction than H.264/AVC standard with comparable quality at the cost of high computational complexity. Merge mode is one of the most important new features introduced in HEVC's inter prediction. Merge mode and traditional inter mode consume about 90% of the total encoding time. To address this high complexity, this paper utilizes the merge mode to accelerate inter prediction by four strategies. 1) A merge candidate decision is proposed by the sum of absolute transformed difference (SATD) cost. 2) An early merge termination is presented with more than 90% accuracy. 3) Due to the compensation effect of merge candidates, symmetric motion partition (SMP) mode is disabled for non-8×8 coding units (CUs). 4) A fast coding unit filtering strategy is proposed to reduce the number of CUs which need to be fine-processed. Experimental results demonstrate that our fast strategies can achieve 35.4%-58.7% time reduction with 0.68%-1.96% BD-rate increment in RA case. Compared with similar works, the proposed strategies are not only among the best performing in average-case complexity reduction, but also notably outperforming in the worst cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-554
Number of pages9
JournalIEICE Transactions on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Feb


  • Encoding
  • HEVC/H.265
  • Inter prediction
  • Merge mode

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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