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Printer models and error diffusion

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2 Author(s)
Pappas, T.N. ; Signal Process. Res. Dept., AT&T Bell Labs., Murray Hill, NJ, USA ; Neuhoff, D.L.

A new model-based approach to digital halftoning is proposed. It is intended primarily for laser printers, which generate “distortions” such as “dot overlap”. Conventional methods, such as clustered-dot ordered dither, resist distortions at the expense of spatial and gray-scale resolution. The proposed approach relies on printer models that predict distortions, and rather than merely resisting them, it exploits them to increase, rather than decrease, both spatial and gray-scale resolution. We propose a general framework for printer models and find a specific model for laser printers. As an example of model-based halftoning, we propose a modification of error diffusion, which is often considered the best halftoning method for CRT displays with no significant distortions. The new version exploits the printer model to extend the benefits of error diffusion to printers. Experiments show that it provides high-quality reproductions with reasonable complexity. The proposed modified error diffusion technique is compared with Stucki's (1981) MECCA, which is a similar but not widely known technique that accounts for dot overlap. Model-based halftoning can be especially useful in transmission of high-quality documents using high-fidelity gray-scale image encoders

Published in:

Image Processing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 1 )