Packetization and Unequal Erasure Protection for Transmission of SPIHT-Encoded Images

Kuen-Tsair LAY  Lee-Jyi WANG  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E97-B   No.1   pp.226-237
Publication Date: 2014/01/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Multimedia Systems for Communications
Keyword: 
image transmission,  discrete wavelet transform (DWT),  SPIHT (set partitioning in hierarchical trees),  unequal error protection (UEP),  diversity allocation (DA),  

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Summary: 
Coupled with the discrete wavelet transform, SPIHT (set partitioning in hierarchical trees) is a highly efficient image compression technique that allows for progressive transmission. One problem, however, is that its decoding can be extremely sensitive to bit errors in the code sequence. In this paper, we address the issue of transmitting SPIHT-encoded images via noisy channels, wherein errors are inevitable. The communication scenario assumed in this paper is that the transmitter cannot get any acknowledgement from the receiver. In our scheme, the original SPIHT code sequence is first segmented into packets. Each packet is classified as either a CP (critical packet) or an RP (refinement packet). For error control, cyclic redundancy check (CRC) is incorporated into each packet. By checking the CRC check sum, the receiver is able to tell whether a packet is correctly received or not. In this way, the noisy channel can be effectively modeled as an erasure channel. For unequal error protection (UEP), each of those packets are repeatedly transmitted for a few times, as determined by a process called diversity allocation (DA). Two DA algorithms are proposed. The first algorithm produces a nearly optimal decoded image (as measured in the expected signal-to-noise ratio). However, its computation cost is extremely high. The second algorithm works in a progressive fashion and is naturally compatible with progressive transmission. Its computation complexity is extremely low. Nonetheless, its decoded image is nearly as good. Experimental results show that the proposed scheme significantly improves the decoded images. They also show that making distinction between CP and RP results in wiser diversity allocation to packets and thus produces higher quality in the decoded images.