A comparison of DCT and DWT block based watermarking on medical image quality

Jason Dowling, Birgit M. Planitz, Anthony J. Maeder, Jiang Du, Binh Pham, Colin Boyd, Shaokang Chen, Andrew P. Bradley, Stuart Crozier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Hiding watermark information in medical image data files is one method of enhancing security and protecting patient privacy. However the research area of medical image watermarking has not been particularly active, partly due to concerns that any distortion could affect the diagnostic value of the medical image. These concerns can be addressed by ensuring that any image changes are kept below visual perception thresholds. In this paper the effects of image watermarking and common image manipulations are measured using the Peak Signal-to-Noise Ratio (PSNR), Structural Similarity Measure (SSIM) and Steerable Visual Difference Predictor (SVDP) numerical metrics. Two methods of block based watermarking are compared: the Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) and Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT). To ensure a fair comparison a 128-pixel block size is used which allows an identical amount of information to be embedded for each method (3072 bits multiplied by embedding strength). The results suggest that although the two methods are similar, the DCT method is preferable if localization of changes is required. If localization is not required the DWT method is supported.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDigital Watermarking, IWDW 2007
EditorsY.Q. Shi, H.J. Kim, S Katzenbeisser
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-540-92238-4
ISBN (Print)3540922377, 9783540922377
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event6th International Workshop on Digital Watermarking, IWDW 2007 - Guangzhou, China
Duration: 3 Dec 20075 Dec 2007

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference6th International Workshop on Digital Watermarking, IWDW 2007


  • Digital image watermarking
  • Human observers
  • Information hiding
  • Medical image modalities
  • Perceptual factors


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