Improvement of the Quality of Visual Secret Sharing Schemes with Constraints on the Usage of Shares

Mariko FUJII  Tomoharu SHIBUYA  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E103-D   No.1   pp.11-24
Publication Date: 2020/01/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.2019MUP0005
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Enriched Multimedia — Application of Multimedia Technology and Its Security —)
Category: 
Keyword: 
secret sharing,  visual cryptography,  threshold visual secret sharing schemes,  halftone image,  Laplacian filter,  

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Summary: 
(k,n)-visual secret sharing scheme ((k,n)-VSSS) is a method to divide a secret image into n images called shares that enable us to restore the original image by only stacking at least k of them without any complicated computations. In this paper, we consider (2,2)-VSSS to share two secret images at the same time only by two shares, and investigate the methods to improve the quality of decoded images. More precisely, we consider (2,2)-VSSS in which the first secret image is decoded by stacking those two shares in the usual way, while the second one is done by stacking those two shares in the way that one of them is used reversibly. Since the shares must have some subpixels that inconsistently correspond to pixels of the secret images, the decoded pixels do not agree with the corresponding pixels of the secret images, which causes serious degradation of the quality of decoded images. To reduce such degradation, we propose several methods to construct shares that utilize 8-neighbor Laplacian filter and halftoning. Then we show that the proposed methods can effectively improve the quality of decoded images. Moreover, we demonstrate that the proposed methods can be naturally extended to (2,2)-VSSS for RGB images.