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Steganography based on Contourlet Transform

Steganography based on Contourlet Transform

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Published by ijcsis
In this paper we present a steganographic technique based on Contourlet transform (CTT). The proposed technique uses a self-synchronizing variable length code to encode the original message which has been proved better than Huffman code in terms of power energy. The secret data then is embedded in the high frequency sub-bands obtained by applying CTT to the cover-image using variable LSB method and Thresholding method. The Contourlet transform is more suitable for data hiding applications as Contourlet gives more edges. Moreover more data can be hidden in the high frequency regions without perceptibility distorting the original image. Experimental results show that the original message and original image both can be recovered form stego-image accurately. The results are compared with existing steganographic techniques [10-12] based on Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) and Discrete Slantlet Transform (SLT). It is known that SLT is a better candidate for signal compression compared to the DWT based scheme and it can provide better time localization. Experimental results have confirmed CTT based method gives better imperceptibility and better embedding rate than the DWT.
In this paper we present a steganographic technique based on Contourlet transform (CTT). The proposed technique uses a self-synchronizing variable length code to encode the original message which has been proved better than Huffman code in terms of power energy. The secret data then is embedded in the high frequency sub-bands obtained by applying CTT to the cover-image using variable LSB method and Thresholding method. The Contourlet transform is more suitable for data hiding applications as Contourlet gives more edges. Moreover more data can be hidden in the high frequency regions without perceptibility distorting the original image. Experimental results show that the original message and original image both can be recovered form stego-image accurately. The results are compared with existing steganographic techniques [10-12] based on Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) and Discrete Slantlet Transform (SLT). It is known that SLT is a better candidate for signal compression compared to the DWT based scheme and it can provide better time localization. Experimental results have confirmed CTT based method gives better imperceptibility and better embedding rate than the DWT.

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(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 6, 2011
Steganography based on Contourlet Transform
Sushil Kumar 
1
Department of Mathematics,Rajdhani college,University of Delhi, New Delhi, Indiae-mail-skazad@rajdhani.du.ac.in
 
S.K.Muttoo
2
 
Department of Computer Science,University of Delhi,Delhi, India
 
e-mail- skmuttoo@cs.du.ac.in
 Abstract
 
In this paper we present a steganographic techniquebased on Contourlet transform (CTT). The proposed techniqueuses a self-synchronizing variable length code to encode theoriginal message which has been proved better than Huffmancode in terms of power energy. The secret data then is embeddedin the high frequency sub-bands obtained by applying CTT to thecover-image using variable LSB method and Thresholdingmethod. The Contourlet transform is more suitable for datahiding applications as Contourlet gives more edges. Moreovermore data can be hidden in the high frequency regions withoutperceptibility distorting the original image. Experimental resultsshow that the original message and original image both can berecovered form stego-image accurately. The results are comparedwith existing steganographic techniques [10-12] based on DiscreteWavelet Transform (DWT) and Discrete Slantlet Transform(SLT). It is known that SLT is a better candidate for signalcompression compared to the DWT based scheme and it canprovide better time localization. Experimental results haveconfirmed CTT based method gives better imperceptibility andbetter embedding rate than the DWT.Keywords- Steganography, DWT, SLT, CTT, LSB, PSNR
I.
 
INTRODUCTION
In the era of new generation technology, the Internet andmultimedia applications have reached places where other communication or transport means are still at its infancy. It isnow convenient for people to transmit mass data in the form of text, images, audio and video through internet. However,there is always a threat from the hackers of stealing thevaluable information. The organizations such as banking,commerce, diplomacy and medicine, private communicationsare essential. Security is an important issue in the informationtechnology now-a-days. Modern cryptography provides avariety of mathematical tools for protecting privacy andsecurity that extend far beyond the ancient art of encryptingmessages. However, for carrying out confidentialcommunication over public networks, simply concealing thecontents of a message using cryptography is found to beinadequate as it can still raise suspicion to eavesdroppers.People have found the solution to this problem inSteganography. Steganography deals with a host of techniquesthat conceal the existence of a hidden communication. Thesecret message to be transmitted is camouflaged in a carrier media so that its detection becomes difficult.The image steganography in the frequency domain is one of the growing research areas in recent years because of itscapability of providing robustness to attacks and posing a realchallenge to anybody trying to discover and decode hiddenmessages.. Wavelet transforms are most widely-used tool insignal processing due to its inherent multi-resolutionrepresentation akin to the operation of the human visualsystem. However, the research on applying the wavelets todata hiding techniques is still too weak, only a few publications deal with this topic at present. This paper focuseson this challenging research topic.In medical profession and law enforcement fields, it is notonly the hiding and recovery of message required perfectly butalso the recovery of original image is important for theexamination. Various distortionless (or invertible or lossless)data hiding methods have been proposed and analyzed, e.g.,[3, 5, 6, 13-16]. Xuan et al.[14] have presented distortionlessdata hiding based integer wavelet transform. Celik et al. [3]have proposed a reversible data hiding method based on theidea of first compressing portion of the signal that aresusceptible to embedding distortion and then transmitting it as part of embedded payload. Hsiag-Cheh Huang et al. [5] have proposed scheme for protecting and recovering sensitiveinformation by mosaikking the region with confidentialinformation and then delivering the modified image to the public. The person who has the secret key can only to view theconfidential information. In this paper, we propose asteganographic technique based on Discrete ContourletTransform (CTT). It is well known that SLT offers superior compression performance compared to the conventional DCTand the DWT based approaches [7]. It has been observed thatSLT can be implemented employing filters of shorter supportsand maintaining the orthogonality and an octave-bandcharacteristic, with two zero moments.The rest of the paper is organized as follows: Section 2 presents a review of Contourlet transform. Section 3 presentsthe proposed algorithms. Performance evaluation is presentedin Section 4. Conclusions and future scope are presented inSection 5.
215http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500
 
(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 6, 2011
II.
 
CONTOURLET TRANSFORM
 In image compression, the Wavelet transforms produces muchless blocking artifacts than the DCT. They are adopted inJPEG2000. They also perform well in image de-noising.However, 2D wavelet transform is, intrinsically, a tensor- product implementation of the 1D wavelet transform, and it provides local frequency representation of image regions over a range of spatial scales, and it does not represent 2Dsingularities effectively. Therefore it does not work well inretaining the directional edges in the image, and it is notsufficient in representing the contours not horizontally or vertically.
 
The Contourlet transform (CTT) is a true 2-D geometricalimage based transform, which is recently introduced by M.N.Do and M. Vetterli [5]. It overcomes the difficulty inexploring the geometry in digital images due to the discretenature of the image data. It possesses the important propertiesof directionality and anisotropy which wavelet do not possesses.. It can represent a smooth contour with fewer coefficients compared with wavelets ( figure 2.2.1).The CTT is based on a double filter bank structure bycombining the Laplacian Pyramid (LP) with a directional filter  bank (DFB). The Laplacian pyramid (LP) is used todecompose an image into a number of radial subabnds and thedirectional filter bank ( DFB) decompose each LP detailssubband into a number of directional subbands. The requirednumber of directions can be specified by the user.Multiresolution flexibility, local and directional imageexpansion in the contourlet image representation, allows for easy sub-band processing. In all, Contourlet has the propertiesMultiresolution ,i.e, representing images from a coarse level tofine-resolution level, Localization , i.e., basis elements can belocalized in both the spatial and the frequency domains,Critical sampling ,i.e., representation form a basis, or a framewith small redundancy, Directionality, i.e., representation of  basis elements oriented at variety of directions andAnisotropy, i.e., capturing of smooth contours in images. Thefirst three properties are also provided by separable wavelets.The analysis part of this type of filter is shown figure 2.2.2.
Figure 2.2.1: Wavelet versus Contoulet: illustratingthe successive refinement by the two systems near a smooth contour,which is shown as a thick curve separating two smooth regions
We can extract important coefficients and edge directionalinformation by contourlet transform, as shown in the figure2.2.3. The figure 2.2.4 is the level 2 decompositon of image‘aeroplane.tif’.Figure 2.2.3: low sub-band and directional sub-bandsOf level 2 decompositon of image ‘zoneplate.png’
Figure 2.2.2: Respective frequency plane decompositon
Contourlet transform has the advantages of high capacity thanthe wavelet and wavelet-like transform ( that have 3 highfrequency subbands whereas we obtain 4 subbands incontourlet.
 
III.
 
PROPOSED METHOD
The proposed steganographic technique embeds secretdata obtained after encoding by T-codes into the
4subbands for horizontal and vertical directions
obtained
LL LH1
 
LH2
H1LH1H1H1H2
H2L H2H1
H2H2
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(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 6, 2011
from the cover image after applying 2-level of CTT.Preprocessing is performed prior to data embedding ineach scheme, viz., LSB and Thresholding, to ensure thatno overflow/underflow takes place. The stego-imagecarrying hidden message is obtained after inverse CTT.Figure 4.2 is the flowchart of the proposed embeddingdata hiding. Figure 4.3 is the flowchart for hidden dataextraction and original cover image recovery.
Contourlet coefficients
 
Figure 2.2.4: Contourlet decomposition of level 2 of image: new3.tif 
The basic idea of LSB embedding is to embed the message bitat the rightmost bits of pixel value so that the embeddingmethod does not affect the original pixel value greatly. Theformula for the embedding is as follows:x’ = x - x mod 2
+ bwhere k is the number of LSBs to be substituted.The extraction of message from the high frequencycoefficients is given as: b = x mod 2
 Threshold embedding method for the lossless data hiding isgiven by Xuan et al. [11]. We predefine a threshold value. Toembed data into a high frequency coefficient of sub-band HH,LH or HL, the absolute value of the coefficient is comparedwith T. If the absolute value is less than the threshold, thecoefficient is doubles and message bit is added to the LSB. Nomessage bit is embedded otherwise, however, the coefficientsare modified as follows:2*x + b if |x| < Tx’ = x + T if x
Tx (T-1) if x
-Twhere T is the threshold value, b is the message bit, x is thehigh frequency coefficient and x’ is the correspondingmodified frequency coefficients.To recover the original image, each high frequency coefficientcan be restored to its original value by applying the followingformula:x’ / b if -2T < x’ < 2Tx = x ‘- T if x’
2 Tx’ + T-1 if x’
-2T +1We further note that the best known variable-length codes(VLC) are the huffman codes. They are easy to construct for optimum efficiency if source statistics are known. But, if usedin serial communication, a loss of synchronization oftenresults in a complex resynchronization process whose lengthand outcome are difficult to predict.When corruption occurs ina stream of data which is coded, the decoder can lose track of where codeword boundaries are located in the data stream.Thus, it is required to choose codes which will self-synchronize as a result of the normal decoding process. M.R.Titchner [18] proposed T-codes which are families of VLCsthat exhibit extraordinarily strong tendency towards self-synchronization.The proposed Embedding algorithm can be summarized into 4steps:
Embedding algorithm :
Step0
. We first obtain the secret data by applying best T-codesas a source encoder to the given input text/message.
217http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500

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