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Visibility of wavelet quantization noise

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4 Author(s)
Watson, A.B. ; NASA Ames Res. Center, Moffett Field, CA, USA ; Yang, G.Y. ; Solomon, J.A. ; Villasenor, J.

The discrete wavelet transform (DWT) decomposes an image into bands that vary in spatial frequency and orientation. It is widely used for image compression, measures of the visibility of DWT quantization errors are required to achieve optimal compression. Uniform quantization of a single band of coefficients results in an artifact that we call DWT uniform quantization noise; it is the sum of a lattice of random amplitude basis functions of the corresponding DWT synthesis filter. We measured visual detection thresholds for samples of DWT uniform quantization noise in Y, Cb, and Cr color channels. The spatial frequency of a wavelet is r2, where r is the display visual resolution in pixels/degree, and λ is the wavelet level. Thresholds increase rapidly with wavelet spatial frequency. Thresholds also increase from Y to Cr to Cb, and with orientation from lowpass to horizontal/vertical to diagonal. We construct a mathematical model for DWT noise detection thresholds that is a function of level, orientation, and display visual resolution. This allows calculation of a "perceptually lossless" quantization matrix for which all errors are in theory below the visual threshold. The model may also be used as the basis for adaptive quantization schemes.

Published in:

Image Processing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 8 )