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2, February 2011

**A Quantization based blind and Robust Image Watermarking Algorithm
**

Mohamed M. Fouad

Electronics and Communication Department- Faculty of Engineering- Zagazig University- Egypt fouadzu@hotmail.com

**Abstract—Security and privacy issues of the transmitted data
**

have become an important concern in multimedia technology. Watermarking which belong to the field of information hiding has seen a lot of research interest recently. Watermarking is used for a variety of reasons including security, content protection, copyright management, trust management, content authentication, tamper detection and privacy. Recently many watermarking techniques have been proposed to support these applications but one major issue with most of the watermarking techniques is that these techniques fail in the presence of severe attacks. This has been a major threat to content providers because if the digital content is dramatically changed then it would be difficult to prove the existence of a watermark in it and consequently its ownership. To tackle this security threat towards ownership issues in this paper, we propose a computationally efficient and secure two quantization based watermarking algorithms which offer incredible performance in presence of malicious attacks which try to remove ownership information. The performance of the proposed techniques is compared with that of other watermarking techniques and it gives a very good perceptual quality especially at lower bit rates. We present experimental results which show that the proposed techniques outperform many techniques for multimedia over wireless applications. The proposed schemes are backed up with excellent results. Keywords-component; Watermark Detection; Watermarking; DCT; DWT; Quantization

multi-media object. The embedding process is guided by use of a secret key, which decides the locations within the multimedia object (image) where the watermark would be embedded. Once the watermark is embedded it can experience several attacks because the multimedia object can be digitally processed. The attacks can be unintentional (in the case of images, low pass filtering or gamma correction or compression) or intentional (like cropping). Hence, the watermark has to be very robust against all these possible attacks. When the owner wants to check the watermarks in the possibly attacked and distorted multimedia object, s/he relies on the secret key that was used to embed the watermark. Using the secret key, the embedded watermark sequence can be extracted. This extracted watermark may or may not resemble the original watermark, because the object might have been attacked. Hence, to validate the existence of a watermark, either the original object is used to compare and ascertain the watermark signal (non-blind watermarking), or a correlation measure is used to detect the strength of the watermark signal from the extracted watermark (blind watermarking). In correlation based detection, the original watermark sequence is compared with the extracted watermark sequence, and a statistical correlation test is used to determine the existence of the watermark. A. Requirements of Digital Watermarking There are three main requirements of digital watermarking. They are transparency, robustness and capacity. Transparency or Fidelity, The digital watermark should not affect the quality of the original image after it is watermarked. Cox et al. (2002) defines transparency or fidelity as ‘perceptual similarity between the original and the watermarked versions of the cover work’ [1]. Watermarking should not introduce visible distortions because if such distortions are introduced it reduces the commercial value of the image.

I. INTRODUCTION Watermarking is a method of hiding proprietary information in digital media like photographs, digital music, or digital video. The ease with which digital content can be exchanged over the Internet has created copyright infringement issues. Copyrighted material can be easily exchanged over peer-to-peer networks, and this has caused major concerns for those content providers who produce these digital contents. In order to protect the interest of the content providers these digital contents can be watermarked. The process of embedding a watermark in a multimedia object is termed as watermarking. A Watermark can be considered as a kind of a signature, which reveals the owner of the multimedia object. Content providers want to embed watermarks in their multimedia objects (digital content) for several reasons like copyright protection, content authentication, tamper detection etc. A watermarking algorithm embeds a visible or invisible watermark in a given

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(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security, Vol. 9, No. 2, February 2011

Robustness, Cox et al. (2002) defines robustness as the ‘ability to detect the watermark after common signal processing operations’ [1]. Watermarks could be removed intentionally or unintentionally by simple image processing operations like contrast or brightness enhancement, gamma correction etc. Hence watermarks should be robust against a variety of such attacks into four basic categories, attacks that try to remove watermarks totally, attacks that try to remove the synchronization between the embedder and the detector, cryptographic attacks and protocol attacks. Capacity or Data Payload, Cox et al. (2002) define capacity or data payload as ‘the number of bits a watermark encodes within a unit of time or work’ [1]. This property describes how much data should be embedded as a watermark to successfully detect during extraction. Watermark should be able to carry enough information to represent the uniqueness of the image. Different applications have different payload requirements [1]. Security, according to Kerckhoff’s principle the security of a cryptosystem depends on the secrecy of the key and not on the cryptographic algorithm. Same rule applies to watermarking algorithms, i.e. the watermarking algorithms must be public but watermark embedding should base on a secret key [2]. To prevent image manipulations and fraudulent use of modiﬁed images, the watermark should survive modiﬁcations introduced by random noise or compression, but should not be detectable from non-authentic regions of the image. The original image cannot be used by the watermark detect or to verify the authenticity of the image. In this paper, we investigate the application of a recently developed quantization based watermarking scheme to image authentication. The two proposed watermarking techniques allow reliable blind watermark detection from a small number of pixels, and thus enable the detection of local modiﬁcations to the image content. II. HISTOGRAM EQUAL AREA DIVISION QUANTIZATION TECHNIQUE The technique calculates the quantization levels using a method that is dependent on the image content (hence the word "adaptive") and then round off the pixels values to the nearest quantization level. In this way, the number of transmitted values is reduced. The quantization scheme provides a wide range of compression ratios (CRs) with a very slight degradation of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). HEAD is a quantization technique in which the transmitted values are reduced by mapping the values of image pixels to a finite number of quantization levels. The HEAD quantization procedure can be listed as follows: 1. The area under the histogram of the image pixels is divided into a number of vertical slices with equal areas. Thus each

slice has a width that is inversely proportional to its height. The number of these slices is equal to the number of quantization levels. 2. On the horizontal axis of the sliced histogram, each slice has start and end points. The midpoint value (on the width) of each slice is considered as a quantization level. 3. In this way, we get a non-uniform quantization in which the density of the quantization levels increases in proportion to the probability of occurrence of the pixel value. 4. All the pixel values that lie within the width of a slice are mapped to the quantization level that is represented by the midpoint of this slice. The resultant compression ratio and signal-to-noise ratio vary depending on the chosen number of quantization levels. This technique is irreversible, i.e. the quantized values can’t be converted back to their original values leading to information loss. III. DCT PROPOSED WATERMARKING TECHNIQUE The first proposed watermarking scheme is a blind quantization based scheme [4]. A block diagram detailing its steps is shown in Fig. 1. The input N*M image; an image assumed to be a matrix has length of N rows and width of M columns, is first converted into single vector by concatenating successive rows beside each other to form a long row that contains all the image pixels using matrix to vector converter. This vector is exposed to DCT [5]-[7] to transform the image from spatial domain into frequency domain in which energy of the image information is concentrated in a few number of coefficients. The output of the DCT process is a vector that has the same length of the image) number of pixels in the image), but with many values approximated to zeros. After applying the DCT the output coefficients are arranged in a descending order according to the pixels probabilities. The output vector of the DCT is now ready to be processed by the histogram equal area quantization technique to choose the appropriate values used in the watermark embedding process, quantization levels. The watermarked coefficients vector is reshaped and returned back to the spatial domain using IDCT.

Figure 1. The first proposed image watermarking scheme.

A.

Watermark Embedding

The steps of watermark embedding can be summarized as follows:

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(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security, Vol. 9, No. 2, February 2011

1. 2.

The host image is transformed into the DCT domain; the transformed coefficients are watermarked using HEAD quantization using 4 quantization levels t0, t1, t2, and t3. A binary watermark of the same size as the image of interest is created using a secret key, which is a seed of a random number generator. Each

s wij of the selected DCT Coefficients is quantized. 's s wij > 0, then wij = t2, 's s wij > 0, then wij = t1, 's s wij < 0, then wij = -t3, 's s wij < 0, then wij = -t0. s

3.

The quantization process can be summarized as follows: If xij = 1 and If xij = 0 and If xij = 1 and If xij = 0 and

(1)

' wijs

Where xij the watermark is bit corresponding to wij , and

is the watermarked coefficient. After all the selected coefficients are quantized, the inverse discrete cosine transform (IDCT) is applied and the watermarked image is obtained. B. Watermark Detection 1. 2. 3. The possibly corrupted watermarked image is transformed into the DCT domain as in the embedding process. The extraction is performed on the coefficients. All the coefficients of magnitude equal to t1, t2, - t3 and - t0 are selected; these are denoted wij .The watermark bits are extracted from each of the selected DCT coefficients with Eq.2. Fig. 2 illustrates the watermark detection process.

's

No watermark was inserted into the low-pass sub-band. Unlike some non-blind watermarking schemes [9][10], this scheme allows a watermark to be detected without access to the original image. It performs an implicit visual masking as only wavelet coefficients with large magnitude are selected for watermark insertion. These coefficients correspond to regions of texture and edges in an image. This scheme makes it difficult for a human viewer to perceive any degradation in the watermarked image. Also, because wavelet coefficients of large magnitude are perceptually significant, it is difficult to remove the watermark without severely distorting the watermarked image. The most novel aspect of this scheme was the introduction of a watermark consisting of pseudorandom real numbers. Since watermark detection typically consists of a process of correlation estimation, in which the watermark coefficients are placed in the image, changes in the location of the watermarked coefficients are unacceptable. The watermarking scheme proposed by Dugad et al. is based on adding the watermark in selected coefficients with significant energy in the transform domain in order to ensure the nonerasability of the watermark. This scheme has overcome the problem of “order sensitivity”. Unfortunately, this scheme has also some disadvantages. It embeds the watermark in an additive fashion. It is known that blind detectors for additive watermarking schemes must correlate the possibly watermarked image coefficients with the known watermark in order to determine if the image has or has not been marked. Thus, the image itself must be treated as noise, which makes the detection of the watermark exceedingly difficult [8]. In order to overcome this problem, it is necessary to correlate a very large number of coefficients, which in turn requires the watermark to be embedded into several image coefficients at the insertion stage. As a result, the degradation in the watermarked image increases. Another drawback is that the detector can only tell if the watermark is present or not. It cannot recover the actual watermark. The scheme in [11] is another example of wavelet-based watermarking schemes. A noise-like Gaussian sequence is used as a watermark. To embed the watermark robustly and imperceptibly, watermark components are added to the significant coefficients of each selected sub-band by considering the human visual system (HVS) characteristics. Some small modifications are performed to improve the HVS model. The host image is needed in the watermark extraction procedure. V. PROPOSED DWT WATERMARKING TECHNIQUE Discrete wavelet transform is a technique using which a 2D image can be transferred from spatial domain to frequency domain. The input N*M image; an image assumed to be a matrix has length of N rows and width of M columns, is exposed to wavelet transform. After one level DWT an image I is decomposed into four subbands LL, HL, LH, and HH. LL is called the approximate band and it contains most of the

**Figure 2. Watermark detection in the proposed scheme.
**

's If wij = t2 or t3, then the recovered watermark bit is a 1.

's If wij = t0 or t1, then the recovered watermark bit is a 0 (2) 4. The recovered watermark is then correlated with the original watermark in the watermark file, obtained via the secret key. This allows a confidence measure to be ascertained for the presence or absence of a watermark in an image.

IV. DWT WATERMARKING TECHNIQUE Dugad et al. presented a blind additive watermarking scheme operating in the wavelet domain [8]. Three-level wavelet decomposition with Daubechies 8-tap filters was used.

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(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security, Vol. 9, No. 2, February 2011

energy. In the algorithm we decompose the image into four levels and embed the watermark in HL, LH sub-bands. Here we assume the size of the watermark logo is in multiple of the sub-band size. In the second proposed a quantization based watermarking algorithm, we incorporate implicit visual masking by embedding the watermark in the LH, HL subbands. The output vector of the wavelet is now ready to be processed by the histogram equal area quantization technique to choose the appropriate values used in the watermark embedding process, quantization levels. The watermarked coefficients vector is reshaped and returned back to the spatial domain using IDWT.

4.

After all the selected coefficients are quantized, the inverse discrete wavelet transform (IDWT) is applied and the watermarked image is obtained.

B. Watermark Detection

1. The possibly corrupted watermarked image is transformed into the wavelet domain using the same wavelet transform as in the embedding process.

2. The extraction is performed on the coefficients in the first level wavelet transform (excluding the LL1 subband). 3. All the coefficients of magnitude equal to t1, t2, - t3 and - t0 are selected; these are denoted wij .The watermark bits are extracted from each of the selected DCT coefficients with Eq.4. Fig. 4 illustrates the watermark detection process.

's

Figure 3. The proposed image watermarking scheme.

**Figure 4. Watermark detection in the proposed scheme.
**

's If wij = t2 or t3, then the recovered watermark bit is a 1. 's If wij = t0 or t1, then the recovered watermark bit is a 0 (4)

A.

Watermark Embedding

The steps of watermark embedding can be summarized as follows: 1. The host image is transformed into the wavelet domain; one level Daubechies wavelet with filters of length 4 is used. The coefficients (excluding the LL1 and HH1) coefficients are watermarked using HEAD quantization using 4 quantization levels t0, t1, t2, and t3. 2. A binary watermark of the same size as the subbands of interest is created using a secret key, which is a seed of a random number generator. 3. Each

s wij of the selected wavelet coefficients is quantized. 's s wij > 0, then wij = t2, s ij s ij

**The quantization process can be summarized as follows: If xij = 1 and
**

's If xij = 0 and w > 0, then wij = t1,

4. The recovered watermark is then correlated with the original watermark in the watermark file, obtained via the secret key. This allows a confidence measure to be ascertained for the presence or absence of a watermark in an image. 5. The recovered watermark is then correlated with the original watermark in the watermark file, obtained via the secret key, only in the locations of the selected coefficients. This allows a confidence measure to be ascertained for the presence or absence of a watermark in an image. VI. PERCEPTUAL QUALITY METRICS Two metrics for ascertaining the quality of a watermarked image are highlighted in this section. These metrics are the Mean Square Error (MSE), and the Peak Signal to Noise Ratio (PSNR). The MSE measures the average pixel-by-pixel difference between the original image (I) and the watermarked

If xij = 1 and (3)

w < 0, then w = -t3,

s wij

's ij

If xij = 0 and

< 0, then

' wijs

= -t0.

ˆ image ( I ) [12].

s

**Where xij the watermark is bit corresponding to wij , and
**

' wijs is the watermarked wavelet coefficient. Figure (3)

MSE =

1 ∑ (I m,n − Iˆm,n )2 MN m,n

I

10

(5)

shows the watermark embedding in a positive wavelet coefficient.

PSNR ( dB ) = 10 log

2 peak

(6)

MSE

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Where Ipeak is the peak intensity level in the original image (most commonly 255 for an 8-bit grayscale image), M and N are the dimensions of the image. The original and recovered messages or watermarks can be compared by computing the Normalized Correlation (NC) [12]: (7) m * .m

NC = m

*

. m

*

Where m is the original message and m is the recovered message. For unipolar vectors, m ∈ {0, 1}, and for bipolar vectors, m ∈ {−1, 1}. VII. SIMULATION RESULTS For all the tests in this paper, MATLAB is used. All tests are performed upon the 8-bit grayscale 256 × 256 cameraman image. To simulate the watermarking schemes on the cameraman image, the four quantization levels are T0=113; T1=124; T2=156; T3=159. Results of the two schemes for the cameraman image are shown in Fig. 5 and Fig. 6, respectively. The comparison of fidelity is shown in Table I. The numerical evaluation metrics for all schemes in the absence and presence of attacks are tabulated in Tables II. From Table II, we notice that the proposed watermarking scheme achieves the lowest distortion in the watermarked image in the absence of attacks we find that the proposed using wavelet give the image with fidelity better than the tech using DCT. From Table II it gives the comparison between our technique using DCT and wavelets, we notice also that a percentage of around 50% of the input watermark bits can be extracted in the proposed scheme with most of the attacks. In the case of DCT we find that we can detect watermark at the presence of blurring, Gaussian or compression attack, in the case of wavelet we can detect the watermark at the presence of Gaussian, resizing, blurring or compression attack. We compare our results to daugads [8], LSB technique [9] and the technique in [4]. In the case of LSB technique, we find it is difficult to detect the watermark at the case of attacks applied to the watermarked image. The technique in [4] gives better result than the existed technique and the proposed one in the case of compression.

Figure 5. Watermarked image using proposed technique with DCT with and without attacks.

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TABLE II. COMPARISON OF NC OF THE EXTRACTED WATERMARKS FOR OUR SCHEME FOR THE CAMERAMAN IMAGE AND THE OTHER EXISTING TECHNIQUES.

VIII. CONCLUSION This paper presented a blind DCT –DWT based image watermarking schemes. These schemes depend on the quantization of coefficients within certain amplitude ranges in a binary manner to embed meaningful information in the image. Experimental results have shown the superiority of the proposed schemes from the host image quality point of view and the blindness point of view. References

[1] Cox, IJ, Miller, ML & Bloom, JA 2002, Digital Watermarking, Morgan Kaufmann Publisher, San Francisco, CA, USA. nd [2] Schneier, B., ‘Applied Cryptography’, WILEY, 2 Edition. [3] Shaimaa A. El-said, Khalid F. A. Hussein, and Mohamed M. Fouad, “Adaptive Lossy Image Compression Technique,” Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering Conference (ECSE’10), 2010. [4] Mohiy Mohammed hadhoud , Abdalhameed shaalan, hanaa abdalaziz abdallah “A Modified Image Watermarking Using Scalar Quantization in Wavelet Domain” UbiCC Journal, Volume 4, Number 3, August 2009 [5] A. S. Khayam, The Discrete Cosine Transform :Theory and Application, Michigan State University ,March 10th 2003 . [6] A. B. Watson, Image Compression Using the Discrete Cosine Transform, Mathematica Journal, 4(1), 1994 ,p. 81-88. [7] D.A. Huffman, A method for the construction of minimumredundancy codes. Proc. Inst. Radio Eng. 40(9), pp.1098-1101, 1952. [8] K. Dugad, R. Ratakonda, and N. Ahuja, “A New Wavelet-Based Scheme for Watermarking Images,” Proceedings of 1998 International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP 1998), Vol. 2, Chicago, IL, October 4-7, 1998, pp. 419-423. [9] M. Corvi and G. Nicchiotti, “Wavelet-based image watermarking for copyright protection, Scandinavian Conference on Image Analysis,” SCIA ’97, Lappeenranta, Finland, June 1997, 157163.

Figure 6. Watermarked image using the proposed DWT technique with and without attacks. TABLE I. EVALUATION METRICS VALUES FOR ALL SCHEMES FOR THE CAMERAMAN IMAGE.

Scheme DCT proposed technique DWT Proposed technique LSB scheme blind daugad Scheme blind Quantization Tech in [4]

PSNR 42 52.7 51.64 38.42 47.29

NC 1 1 1 0.39 1

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(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security, Vol. 9, No. 2, February 2011 [10] P. Meerwald, Digital image watermarking in the wavelet [11] S. Voloshynovskiy, S. Pereira, V. Iquise, and T. Pun. “Attack transform domain, Master thesis, Department of Scientific modeling: Towards a second generation watermarking Computing, University of Salzburg, Austria, 2001. benchmark” Journal of Signal Processing,80 (6) , May 2001. http://www.cosy.sbg.ac.at/˜pmeerw/Watermarking/ [12] C. Shoemaker, Rudko, “Hidden Bits: A Survey of Techniques for Digital Watermarking” Independent StudyEER-290 Prof Rudko, Spring 2002.

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UsefulNot usefulSecurity and privacy issues of the transmitted data have become an important concern in multimedia technology. Watermarking which belong to the field of information hiding has seen a lot of researc...

Security and privacy issues of the transmitted data have become an important concern in multimedia technology. Watermarking which belong to the field of information hiding has seen a lot of research interest recently. Watermarking is used for a variety of reasons including security, content protection, copyright management, trust management, content authentication, tamper detection and privacy. Recently many watermarking techniques have been proposed to support these applications but one major issue with most of the watermarking techniques is that these techniques fail in the presence of severe attacks. This has been a major threat to content providers because if the digital content is dramatically changed then it would be difficult to prove the existence of a watermark in it and consequently its ownership. To tackle this security threat towards ownership issues in this paper, we propose a computationally efficient and secure two quantization based watermarking algorithms which offer incredible performance in presence of malicious attacks which try to remove ownership information. The performance of the proposed techniques is compared with that of other watermarking techniques and it gives a very good perceptual quality especially at lower bit rates. We present experimental results which show that the proposed techniques outperform many techniques for multimedia over wireless applications. The proposed schemes are backed up with excellent results.

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