Digital watermarking with improved SMS applied for QR code

Jeng Shyang Pan, Xiao Xue Sun, Shu Chuan Chu, Ajith Abraham, Bin Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


With the rapid development of information technology, infringements have become increasingly serious. Digital watermarking is an effective method to protect information. The current watermarking technology still has room for further improvement in imperceptibility and robustness. This paper proposes an improved watermarking technology using meta-heuristic algorithm. Further, Quick Response code (QR code) is used as a carrier to transmit information. The improved Discrete Wavelet Transform-Singular Value Decomposition (DWT-SVD) is used to hide the watermark into the QR code. Therefore, digital watermarking is realized on the QR code. In the common watermark embedding methods, the digital watermark is related to the embedding strength. How to find a suitable embedding factor and reduce distortion is of great significance to these watermarking algorithms. This paper mainly proposes two novel algorithms based on States of Matter Search (SMS) algorithm to find suitable embedding factors. The first algorithm uses an adaptive parameter to control the movement of particles called the adaptive step States of Matter Search (sSMS). The second algorithm incorporates co-evolutionary matrix to enhance the search capability named Co-evolution States of Matter Search (CSMS). DWT-SVD is updated through two algorithms to acquire optimal embedding strength factors on the QR code watermarking. By adjusting the embedding strength factors, the intensity of the watermark embedded in different frequency domains would be modified. The experimental results have higher PSNR and the QR code can still be decoded by a general decoder. It shows that the proposed approaches are practicable and effective.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104049
Number of pages13
JournalEngineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Discrete Wavelet Transform
  • Quick Response code
  • Singular Value Decomposition
  • States of Matter Search
  • Watermarking


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