An estimation-theoretic framework is proposed for prediction in scalable coding of stereophonic audio, which overcomes fundamental drawbacks of conventional prediction approaches. The framework offers the means to combine all the information available at the enhancement layer to produce the optimal signal estimate. The method efficiently exploits both interchannel and intrachannel redundancy without incurring additional side information. The proposed estimation-theoretic prediction is implemented within an MPEG-4-based scalable coder for stereophonic audio signals. Objective and subjective performance comparison on the MPEG-4 SQAM database shows that optimal prediction yields substantial bit-rate reduction while maintaining the same reproduction quality. The improvement is achieved at the cost of a modest increase in computational complexity.:
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