A Contourlet-Based Embedded Image Coding Scheme on Low Bit-Rate

Haohao SONG  Songyu YU  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E91-D   No.9   pp.2333-2340
Publication Date: 2008/09/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1093/ietisy/e91-d.9.2333
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Image Processing and Video Processing
embedded image coding,  contourlet,  wavelet,  scanning scheme,  

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Contourlet transform (CT) is a new image representation method, which can efficiently represent contours and textures in images. However, CT is a kind of overcomplete transform with a redundancy factor of 4/3. If it is applied to image compression straightforwardly, the encoding bit-rate may increase to meet a given distortion. This fact baffles the coding community to develop CT-based image compression techniques with satisfactory performance. In this paper, we analyze the distribution of significant contourlet coefficients in different subbands and propose a new contourlet-based embedded image coding (CEIC) scheme on low bit-rate. The well-known wavelet-based embedded image coding (WEIC) algorithms such as EZW, SPIHT and SPECK can be easily integrated into the proposed scheme by constructing a virtual low frequency subband, modifying the coding framework of WEIC algorithms according to the structure of contourlet coefficients, and adopting a high-efficiency significant coefficient scanning scheme for CEIC scheme. The proposed CEIC scheme can provide an embedded bit-stream, which is desirable in heterogeneous networks. Our experiments demonstrate that the proposed scheme can achieve the better compression performance on low bit-rate. Furthermore, thanks to the contourlet adopted in the proposed scheme, more contours and textures in the coded images are preserved to ensure the superior subjective quality.