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A perceptually tuned subband image coder based on the measure of just-noticeable-distortion profile

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2 Author(s)
Chun-Hsien Chou ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Tatung Inst. of Technol., Taipei, Taiwan ; Yun-Chin Li

To represent an image of high perceptual quality with the lowest possible bit rate, an effective image compression algorithm should not only remove the redundancy due to statistical correlation but also the perceptually insignificant components from image signals. In this paper, a perceptually tuned subband image coding scheme is presented, where a just-noticeable distortion (JND) or minimally noticeable distortion (MND) profile is employed to quantify the perceptual redundancy. The JND profile provides each signal being coded with a visibility threshold of distortion, below which reconstruction errors are rendered imperceptible. Based on a perceptual model that incorporates the threshold sensitivities due to background luminance and texture masking effect, the JND profile is estimated from analyzing local properties of image signals. According to the sensitivity of human visual perception to spatial frequencies, the full-band JND/MND profile is decomposed into component JND/MND profiles of different frequency subbands. With these component profiles, perceptually insignificant signals in each subband can be screened out, and significant signals can be properly encoded to meet the visibility threshold. A new quantitative fidelity measure, termed as peak signal-to-perceptible-noise ratio (PSPNR), is proposed to assess the quality of the compressed image by taking the perceptible part of the distortion into account. Simulation results show that near-transparent image coding can be achieved at less than 0.4 b/pixel. As compared to the ISO-JPEG standard, the proposed algorithm can remove more perceptual redundancy from the original image, and the visual quality of the reconstructed image is much more acceptable at low bit rates

Published in:

Circuits and Systems for Video Technology, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 6 )