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Image Compression Concepts Overview

Image Compression Concepts Overview
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Author(s): Alan Wee-Chung Liew (Griffith University, Australia) and Ngai-Fong Law (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 7
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch284

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Abstract

Image compression aims to produce a new image representation that can be stored and transmitted efficiently. It is a core technology for multimedia processing and has played a key enabling role in many commercial products, such as digital camera and camcorders. It facilitates visual data transmission through the Internet, contributes to the advent of digital broadcast system, and makes possible the storage on VCD and DVD. Despite a continuing increase in capacity, efficient transmission and storage of images still present the utmost challenge in all these systems. Consequently, fast and efficient compression algorithms are in great demand. The basic principle for image compression is to remove any redundancy in image representation. For example, simple graphic images such as icons and line drawings can be represented more efficiently by considering differences among neighbor pixels, as the differences always have lower entropy value than the original images (Shannon, 1948). These kinds of techniques are often referred to as lossless compression. It tries to exploit statistical redundancy in an image so as to provide a concise representation in which the original image can be reconstructed perfectly. However, statistical compression techniques alone cannot provide high compression ratio. To improve image compressibility, lossy compression is often used so that visually important image features are preserved while some fine details are removed or not represented perfectly. This type of compression is often used for natural images where the loss of some details is generally unnoticeable to viewers. This articles deals with image compression. Specifi- cally, it is concern with compression of natural color images because they constitute the most important class of digital image. First, the basic principle and methodology of natural image compression is described. Then, several major natural image compression standards, namely JPEG, JPEG-LS, and JPEG 2000 are discussed.

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