Phil Sherry


Watermarking is becoming increasingly important for content control and authentication. Watermarking seamlessly embeds data in media that provide additional information about that media. Unfortunately, watermarking schemes that have been developed for continuous tone images cannot be directly applied to halftone images. Many of the existing watermarking methods require characteristics that are implicit in continuous tone images, but are absent from halftone images. With this in mind, it seems reasonable to develop watermarking techniques specific to halftones that are equipped to work in the binary image domain. In this thesis, existing techniques for halftone watermarking are reviewed and improvements are developed to increase performance and overcome their limitations. Post-halftone watermarking methods work on existing halftones. Data Hiding Cell Parity (DHCP) embeds data in the parity domain instead of individual pixels. Data Hiding Mask Toggling (DHMT) works by encoding two bits in the 2x2 neighborhood of a pseudorandom location. Dispersed Pseudorandom Generator (DPRG), on the other hand, is a preprocessing step that takes place before image halftoning. DPRG disperses the watermark embedding locations to achieve better visual results. Using the Modified Peak Signal-to-Noise Ratio (MPSNR) metric, the proposed techniques outperform existing methods by up to 5-20%, depending on the image type and method considered. Field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are ideal for solutions that require the flexibility of software, while retaining the performance of hardware. Using VHDL, an FPGA based halftone watermarking engine was designed and implemented for the Xilinx Virtex XCV300. This system was designed for watermarking pre-existing halftones and halftones obtained from grayscale images. This design utilizes 99% of the available FPGA resources and runs at 33 MHz. Such a design could be applied to a scanner or printer at the hardware level without adversely affecting performance.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Digital watermarking; Data protection; Watermarks--Technological innovations; Marks of origin--Technological innovations; Image processing--Digital techniques

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Computer Engineering (KGCOE)


Hsu, Kenneth

Advisor/Committee Member

Lukowiak, Marcin


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: QA76.9.A25 S52 2003


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