Capacity estimates for data hiding in compressed images

Mahalingam Ramkumar, Ali N. Akansu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


In this paper, we present an information-theoretic approach to obtain an estimate of the number of bits that can be hidden in still images, or, the capacity of the data-hiding channel. We show how the addition of the message signal or signature in a suitable transform domain rather than the spatial domain can significantly increase the channel capacity. Most of the state-of-the-art schemes developed thus far for data-hiding have embedded bits in some transform domain, as it has always been implicitly understood that a decomposition would help. Though most methods reported in the literature use DCT or wavelet decomposition for data embedding, the choice of the transform is not obvious. We compare the achievable data-hiding capacities for different decompositions like DCT, DFT, Hadamard, and subband transforms and show that the magnitude DFT decomposition performs best among the ones compared.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1252-1263
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Image Processing
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


  • Data hiding
  • Image steganography


Dive into the research topics of 'Capacity estimates for data hiding in compressed images'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this