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Chapter 13. Profiling and Conformance: A... > Profiling Policy and Version Managem...

13.2. Profiling Policy and Version Management

The policy in defining MPEG-4 profiles and levels is aimed at obtaining a minimum number of profile@level combinations that are as widely usable as possible [N2565]. This means both a low total number (giving a “global” optimum) and a low number of different conformance points that address roughly the same application type (giving a “local” optimum); for example, there are quite a few profiles that address slightly different guises of Web applications. The profiling policy should be understood together with the approach to version management. This chapter will first discuss version management before returning to the profiling policy.

The fact that the MPEG-4 standard is delivered in versions necessitates the existence of version management procedures [N2200]. Different versions are issued in the form of amendments to the standard. Versions of MPEG-4 are meant for major improvements and enhancements of the tool set. New tools are added only if they bring new functionalities or significant gains in performance for the functionalities already provided. This implies that a marginal increase in, for example, coding efficiency is not enough reason for adding a tool, which would make the standard more complex, more expensive to implement, and less stable but not significantly more powerful and useful.


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