Using Statistical Image Model for JPEG Steganography: Uniform Embedding Revisited

Linjie Guo, Jiangqun Ni, Wenkang Su, Chengpei Tang, Yun Qing Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

226 Scopus citations


Uniform embedding was first introduced in 2012 for non-side-informed JPEG steganography, and then extended to the side-informed JPEG steganography in 2014. The idea behind uniform embedding is that, by uniformly spreading the embedding modifications to the quantized discrete cosine transform (DCT) coefficients of all possible magnitudes, the average changes of the first-order and the second-order statistics can be possibly minimized, which leads to less statistical detectability. The purpose of this paper is to refine the uniform embedding by considering the relative changes of statistical model for digital images, aiming to make the embedding modifications to be proportional to the coefficient of variation. Such a new strategy can be regarded as generalized uniform embedding in substantial sense. Compared with the original uniform embedding distortion (UED), the proposed method uses all the DCT coefficients (including the DC, zero, and non-zero AC coefficients) as the cover elements. We call the corresponding distortion function uniform embedding revisited distortion (UERD), which incorporates the complexities of both the DCT block and the DCT mode of each DCT coefficient (i.e., selection channel), and can be directly derived from the DCT domain. The effectiveness of the proposed scheme is verified with the evidence obtained from the exhaustive experiments using a popular steganalyzer with rich models on the BOSSbase database. The proposed UERD gains a significant performance improvement in terms of secure embedding capacity when compared with the original UED, and rivals the current state-of-the-art with much reduced computational complexity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7225122
Pages (from-to)2669-2680
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Computer Networks and Communications


  • JPEG Steganography
  • distortion function design
  • minimal-distortion embedding
  • uniform embedding


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