2, FEBRUARY 2010


Chaotic Scan: A Low Complexity Video Transmission System for Efficiently Sending Relevant Image Features
Radu Dogaru, Member, IEEE, Ioana Dogaru, and Hyongsuk Kim, Member, IEEE

Abstract—A novel image scanning and transmission system is proposed, where the traditional raster scan is replaced with a new one, called a chaotic scan. The result is a low complexity image transmission system with encryption and spread spectrum capabilities well suited for compressed sensing applications. Due to the uncorrelated nature of the consecutively scanned pixels, it allows a form of progressive compression and fast discovery of the relevant image features using only a small fraction of the transmitted pixels. The key ingredient of the proposed system is a chaotic counter addressing the sensor array, based on a cellular automaton exhibiting a pseudo-random chaotic behavior and binary synchronization property. Index Terms—Cellular automata, chaos synchronization, image compression, image scan, image sensor, nonlinear dynamics.

I. Introduction Images are important sources of information based on which humans or robots may take different decisions. Unmanned aerial vehicles, remote surveillance systems, and other emergent sensor network applications require energy saving sensing capabilities. In [1], a complementary metal–oxide– semiconductor active pixel sensor is reported to consume only 550 µW while just a few mW are sufficient to send information over a short-distance wireless link. It is reasonable to estimate that the power consumption of the sensor is in a direct relation to the pixel rate (pixels being addressed and sent per second). Reducing the amount of energy at the sensor level while allowing for flexible operation, adapted to the informational content of the scene, is of paramount importance. In [2], conditional replenishment is proposed. Some unconventional scanning methods [3], most based on
Manuscript received August 22, 2008; revised April 5, 2009. First version published September 1, 2009; current version published February 5, 2010. The work of R. Dogaru was supported by Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea, under the Foreign Professors Invitation Program of the Institute of Information Technology Assessment. Additional support was provided by the Ministry of Information and Communication, Korea, under the IT Foreign Specialist Inviting Program supervised by the Institute of Information Technology Advancement, Project C1012-0000-0000, and by the Research Grant ADBIOSONAR 12079/2008, CNMP, Romania. This paper was recommended by Associate Editor H. Chen. R. Dogaru and I. Dogaru are with the Department of Applied Electronics and Information Engineering, University Politehnica of Bucharest, Bucharest 061071, Romania (e-mail: radu; ioana H. Kim is with the Division of Electronics and Information Engineering, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-756, Korea (e-mail: Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TCSVT.2009.2031514

variations of Morton’s scan [4], are also credited for improvements in terms of power consumption and sensor complexity [5], [6]. In [7], a very similar approach is reported for the task of de-correlating pixels in a neighborhood. None of the above solutions consider the important issue of wireless transmission and synchronization. In this letter, we show that by simply replacing the traditional raster scan of a sensor array with a chaotic scan having synchronization capabilities, results in multiple benefits in terms of compression, encryption, and fast feature extraction without adding complexity to the sensor circuitry. These benefits are the effect of sending consecutively uncorrelated pixels instead of correlated pixels as in the case of the raster scan. The proposed chaotic scan is a very simplified model of eye saccades where chaotic nonlinear dynamics is exploited to scan the visual field. Unlike previous implementations of saccadic sensors (e.g., in [8]) the resulting sensor is not a foveated one, and therefore no sophisticated control mechanisms of the motion as described in [9], [10], or [11] are implemented. Although chaos synchronization was widely investigated so far [12], there is a lack of applications, due to the low immunity to noise of the typical systems. However, in this letter we employ as chaotic counters a new class of systems called hybrid cellular automata (HCA). They were recently introduced and investigated [13]–[15] and offer both robust synchronization and good chaotic counting properties. The remainder of this letter is organized as follows: in Section II chaotic counters and their properties will be introduced. The model of the proposed video transmission system will be introduced and analyzed in Section III as well as its features compared to traditional scanning systems. Simulation results for various circumstances of using the proposed system are provided in Section IV. II. Scan Counters and Their Properties A. Scan Counters A counting automaton is a binary automaton with the property that in consecutive time steps it runs on a finite cycle C defined by a set of N binary states: C = {X1 , X2 , ..., XN }. Any counter state “i” represents a pixel address and it is i i i i i a binary vector Xi = [x1 , x2 , .., xj ., xn ] with n elements xj ∈ {0, 1}, where n represents the counter size. A perfect scanning counter should count all N = 2n possible states corresponding

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u2.. ik−1 ) = ik−1 n ik . 2(b)] in the case of chaotic counters allowing a fast coverage of the visual field. compared with [20]) algorithm of progressive image compression [21] trading the resolution and quality of the reconstructed image for the compression rate. The resolution of the block L is controlled at the receiver to optimize the efficiency of the compression scheme. 2. For each pixel addressed by the chaotic counter at position m in the transmitter (sensor) the receiver recovers an entire block of identical pixels. consecutive states correspond to adjacent pixels. Recently a new approach employing chaotic nonlinear dynamics has been reported [17]. mn ] is optimized [26] for any odd counter size up to n ≤ 29 an optimal value of such that r = N/2n → 1 (maximal cycle length). The schematic diagram of both counters is provided in Fig. In the following. But choosing a progressive decreasing of . Fig.5n) = 2m/n (2b) (2a) + 1) = mi ⊕ Cell T xj−1 T T (t) . The binary mask vector m = [m1 . While both have similar properties of the generated pseudo-random sequence. In its binary representation. . This observation leads to a very simple (e. u1] = [1. xi (t). 2. the chaotic scan is much faster than the raster scan in exploring the visual field. The average distance between consecutive pixels (“jump”) called in the next spreading is large [see Fig.. 1) Chaotic Versus Raster Scan Counters: To understand the basic difference between chaotic and raster scan counters an array of N = 30 pixels addressed by the two possible in the case of chaotic counter.318 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON CIRCUITS AND SYSTEMS FOR VIDEO TECHNOLOGY. Obviously. i. here the HCA with ID = 101 and n = 5. 1... 1].. n}) T xi (t counters is considered in Fig. FEBRUARY 2010 Fig. The issue of LFSR secure synchronization in communications is usually addressed using computationally intensive correlation schemes. VOL. This distance is constant (dk = 1) for the j=1 xj − xj raster counter while it obeys a Gaussian distribution with ¯ an average value dk = 0. providing in addition binary and secure synchronization. (b)]. 1. NO.e. but still requires the implementation of a specially designed analog system in the receiver. starting with the same position m. In the case of the raster scan [Fig. m2 . With the constant “jump” of 1 in the case of the normal counter and with the average “jump” of 0. embedded within the sensor in the proposed transmission system). B. Let now consider a compact object (its pixels are correlated) starting with position (state) m in the counting cycle [Fig. the leftmost cell (i = 1) is connected to the rightmost one (i = n). The time until discovery Tdisc is defined as the average number of iterations until reaching at least one pixel of the object. and u3).. while in the case of a chaotic counter consecutive states correspond to rather distant pixels. u2. it follows that Tdisc (m) = m in the case of the normal (raster scan) counter.. A periodic boundary condition is assumed. and Tdisc (m) = m/ (0. (a) Circular state diagrams for a normal (raster scan) counter. It has recently been shown [15] that HCA with rule ID = 101 according to Wolfram’s notation [19] is a better replacement for LFSR. we will emphasize on chaotic counters such as the linear feedback shift register (LFSR) [16] and the HCA. (c) Distribution of distances between consecutive pixels in the case of both chaotic counters with n = 17 cells. ID) is a Boolean function with three binary inputs (u1. 2(a)]. they have different synchronization properties. 1.. u3. 20. 2. Properties of Chaotic Counters: Fast Coverage Let assume that the initial state of a scan is i = 1 in Fig. For a Gray code encoding the geometrical distance between consecutively visited pixels is: dk (ik . 2. the most significant bit of ID corresponds to the cell output when [u3. It follows that a chaotic counter explores the entire pixel array (m = N) after only Tcoverage = 2N/n cycles. The discrete-time dynamics of the HCA is given by the next equation. Two types of chaotic counters and their properties.5n in the case of chaotic (pseudorandom) counters [Fig 2(c)]. ⊕ is the logical XOR operator and Cell (u1. [18]. i. xi+1 (t).e.. 2..5n in the case of the chaotic counter. to the same number of pixels in the array. For this mask N = 2 097 151 = 221 − 1 states.g. In the limit L = 1. The autonomous (A) mode is used in the sensor (transmitter) while the synchronous (S) mode is used in the receiver. ID (1) where the upper index “T” stands for the transmitting CA counter (i. In the case n = 21 the optimal mask vector is [10 100 000 010]. a transmission with no loss is obtained as in the case of the raster scan. only one pixel of the array is not addressed.e. which applies synchronously to all cells (a cell is identified by an index i ∈ {1. . u2. 2(a). (b) Same diagram for a chaotic counter.

(7) (8) (3) (4) for i = 2. Note than no additional circuitry is required in the transmitter to achieve compression. For video transmissions the most important consequence of fast coverage property is the possibility of flexibly adapting the transmission rate to the image content. 216 .15 times more complex than the raster counter) with O(n) complexity represent a tiny part of the sensing circuitry with (5) Channel noise (AGWN) r(t) = s(t) + n(t). List of Relevant Features of the Chaotic Scan (CS) Compared to the Traditional Raster Scan (RS) No 1 2 3 4 5 Features Embedded image compression Embedded encryption capabilities Spread spectrum transmission (un-correlated consecutive pixels) Fast feature detection capabilities Focus capability CS YES YES YES YES YES (reduced) RS NO NO NO NO YES Demodulation III. The block size (L) is progressively decreased according to the following algorithm: It is divided with 2 when the counter clock reaches the next number from the series: 22 . The transmitter (Tx) includes the sensor array addressed by the chaotic counter given by (1). ranges within [−1. n The equations describing the modulation and demodulation process in the case of the simple additive mixing scheme (cryptographic properties require that the receiver knows the mask vector and the HCA ID rule) are given next Modulation T 1 s (t) = 2 p(t) + x1 (t) . ID T r x1 (t) = sign (r (t)) r p (t) = 2 r(t) − x1 (t) . 4. The dynamics of the Rx HCA is given by r x1 (t) = x 1 (t) = sign (s(t) + n(t)) r r r r xi (t + 1) = mi ⊕ Cell xi−1 (t) . Simple commands to load the focus registers and to increase or decrease the transmission rate can be provided through this channel. Due to the mixing in (5) the synchronization is lost only when SNR < 10 dB. xi (t). x2 . 214 . Features of the Chaotic Scan Transmission System The main features of the chaotic scan transmission system are summarized in Table I. xn ] to that of the transmitter based on the recovered synchronization signal in (3). In terms of peak signal-to-noise ratio the performance is perceptually reasonable. with a very low rate for a still scene or as large as needed for a given accuracy. The receiver (Rx) synchronizes its binary state r r r xr = [x1 . 210 . 28 . a low capacity feedback transmission channel may be considered to increase flexibility.. xi+1 (t) .DOGARU et al.: CHAOTIC SCAN: A LOW COMPLEXITY VIDEO TRANSMISSION SYSTEM FOR EFFICIENTLY SENDING RELEVANT IMAGE FEATURES 319 Fig. More details are given in [21]. as seen in Fig. The distortion curve is also given. In addition to the system depicted in Fig. . 4. Progressive compression scheme using large reconstruction blocks (small resolution) in the beginning and a higher resolution at the end of the transmission. 24 . in the case of motion. against the traditional raster scan system.. Initially L is as large as the whole image. The circuitry needed to implement the chaotic counter (about 1. . B. The receiver fills all pixels within a block of size L × L with the uniquely received pixel value. 4.. 3 for a 512 × 512-sized image. c(t)]. The Structure of the Chaotic Scan Transmission System The principle of a video transmission system based on chaotic scan is depicted in Fig. The average number of clock periods to regain synchronization was experimentally determined to be proportional to n2. 1]. Fig.5 . TABLE I L one may achieve lossy compression. 3. addressed at row l(t) and column c(t) by the scanning counter.. In making this comparison the low circuit implementation complexity of the transmitting system is emphasized. 212 . In the above.. 26 . The Video Transmission System A. (6) . it is assumed that the pixel message p (t) = p [l(t). Video transmission system where both the sensor (Tx) and the receiver employ HCA chaotic counters with binary synchronization properties.

7. 2. Fig. Simulation Results In the following simulations. as seen in Fig. 8. Histograms of Lena image obtained after different numbers m of pixels being sent and received when the sensor array is addressed using a chaotic counter.. chaotic counters scan the visual field faster than raster counters. 7) to allow better tracking of the moving object. Both chaotic and raster scan were implemented and the images were processed in real time. With chaotic scan it is obvious that even after sending a small number of pixels (less than 0. Histograms of Lena image obtained after different numbers m of pixels being sent and received when the sensor array is addressed using a raster counter.g. tograms (e. 4) Feature 4 (main feature): As detailed in Section II-B.2% of the whole image) a histogram approximating quite well the one of the entire image is obtained. VOL. as discussed in Section II-B. feature recognition. In this case there are large differences in histograms and one should wait for an entire frame in order to recover a valid histogram. Consecutive snapshots from received video of a moving object. the transmitted signal is a spread spectrum one. no such circuitry is needed in the transmitter using chaotic scan. 6. The key is embedded in the mask vector of the chaotic counter and in the HCA rule. Note the good match with the final histogram after sending only 0. based on a small fraction of pixels from the sensing array. NO. a 320 × 240 pixels web-cam (set at 30 frames/s) was used as a video image source. 5. Such a feature is favorable to those applications where the exact content of the image is less important than his- Fig. O(2n ) complexity. recovering the histogram of the whole image after sending only a small fraction of highly correlated pixels is not possible. It is interesting to note that the histograms received from a chaotic scan do not depend on the synchronization process. The complexity of the receiver is considered not relevant since it is usually implemented on a high performance remote computer. Chaotic scan is employed in the sensor with a pixel rate corresponding to a compression of ten times. as indicated in the progressive compression detailed in Fig. An example is given in Figs. 3 of Section II-B. it was found that k2p clock cycles are needed (with k = 6 instead of k = 1 in the case of raster scan) to address all pixels in a zone. 20. Detailed explanation for each feature in the above table follows. In effect. motion detection. This drawback may be alleviated by taking k = 1 and using pixel reconstruction in the receiver or by further research to define better chaotic counters. histograms) or motion in the visual field can be detected faster. For each new frame received from the . Experimentally. 1) Feature 1: While in the case of raster scan additional circuitry is needed to provide any form of compression. but only when the least significant p < n bits of the counter are used to focus on a reduced zone (the most significant bits specify the zone)..2% of all pixels.320 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON CIRCUITS AND SYSTEMS FOR VIDEO TECHNOLOGY. FEBRUARY 2010 Fig. Consequently. and so on. 5) Feature 5: This feature reveals the only drawback of the chaotic scan. various features (e. Chaotic scan is employed in the sensor with an increased pixel rate (ten times more than in Fig.g. 2) Feature 2: Encryption is performed without additional circuitry as an effect of the chaotic counting process. 5 and 6. and can be considered uncorrelated. Consecutive snapshots from the received video of a moving object. 3) Feature 3: Consecutive pixels addressed by chaotic counters are located at distant geometrical locations. Fig. detecting transitions in video scene. 6. In the case of the raster scan. IV.).

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