Investigating Polynomial Fitting Schemes for Image Compression
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Image compression is a means to perform transmission or storage of visual data in the most economical way. Though many algorithms have been reported, research is still needed to cope with the continuous demand for more efficient transmission or storage. This research work explores and implements polynomial fitting techniques as means to perform block-based lossy image compression. In an attempt to investigate nonpolynomial models, a region-based scheme is implemented to fit the whole image using bell-shaped functions. The idea is simply to view an image as a 3D geographical map consisting of hills and valleys. However, the scheme suffers from high computational demands and inferiority to many available image compression schemes. Hence, only polynomial models get further considerations. A first order polynomial (plane) model is designed to work in a multiplication- and division-free (MDF) environment. The intensity values of each image block are fitted to a plane and the parameters are then quantized and coded. Blocking artefacts, a common drawback of block-based image compression techniques, are reduced using an MDF line-fitting scheme at blocks’ boundaries. It is shown that a compression ratio of 62:1 at 28.8dB is attainable for the standard image PEPPER, outperforming JPEG, both objectively and subjectively for this part of the rate-distortion characteristics. Inter-block prediction can substantially improve the compression performance of the plane model to reach a compression ratio of 112:1 at 27.9dB. This improvement, however, slightly increases computational complexity and reduces pipelining capability. Although JPEG2000 is not a block-based scheme, it is encouraging that the proposed prediction scheme performs better in comparison to JPEG 2000, computationally and qualitatively. However, more experiments are needed to have a more concrete comparison. To reduce blocking artefacts, a new postprocessing scheme, based on Weber’s law, is employed. It is reported that images postprocessed using this scheme are subjectively more pleasing with a marginal increase in PSNR (<0.3 dB). The Weber’s law is modified to perform edge detection and quality assessment tasks. These results motivate the exploration of higher order polynomials, using three parameters to maintain comparable compression performance. To investigate the impact of higher order polynomials, through an approximate asymptotic behaviour, a novel linear mapping scheme is designed. Though computationally demanding, the performances of higher order polynomial approximation schemes are comparable to that of the plane model. This clearly demonstrates the powerful approximation capability of the plane model. As such, the proposed linear mapping scheme constitutes a new approach in image modeling, and hence worth future consideration.