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Image-adaptive watermarking using visual models

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2 Author(s)
Podilchuk, C.I. ; Lucent Technol., Bell Labs., Murray Hill, NJ, USA ; Wenjun Zeng

The huge success of the Internet allows for the transmission, wide distribution, and access of electronic data in an effortless manner. Content providers are faced with the challenge of how to protect their electronic data. This problem has generated a flurry of research activity in the area of digital watermarking of electronic content for copyright protection. The challenge here is to introduce a digital watermark that does not alter the perceived quality of the electronic content, while being extremely robust to attack. For instance, in the case of image data, editing the picture or illegal tampering should not destroy or transform the watermark into another valid signature. Equally important, the watermark should not alter the perceived visual quality of the image. From a signal processing perspective, the two basic requirements for an effective watermarking scheme, robustness and transparency, conflict with each other. We propose two watermarking techniques for digital images that are based on utilizing visual models which have been developed in the context of image compression. Specifically, we propose watermarking schemes where visual models are used to determine image dependent upper bounds on watermark insertion. This allows us to provide the maximum strength transparent watermark which, in turn, is extremely robust to common image processing and editing such as JPEG compression, rescaling, and cropping. We propose perceptually based watermarking schemes in two frameworks: the block-based discrete cosine transform and multiresolution wavelet framework and discuss the merits of each one. Our schemes are shown to provide very good results both in terms of image transparency and robustness

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Selected Areas in Communications, IEEE Journal on  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 4 )