Digital image watermarking methods for copyright protection and authentication

Woo, Chaw-Seng (2007) Digital image watermarking methods for copyright protection and authentication. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The ease of digital media modification and dissemination necessitates content protection beyond encryption. Information hidden as digital watermarks in multimedia enables protection mechanism in decrypted contents.

The aims of this research are three-fold: (i) to investigate the strength and limitations of current watermarking schemes, (ii) to design and develop new schemes to overcome the limitations, and (iii) to evaluate the new schemes using application scenarios of copyright protection, tamper detection and authentication. We focus on geometrically robust watermarking and semi-fragile watermarking for digital images. Additionally, hybrid schemes that combine the strength of both robust and semi-fragile watermarks are studied.

Robust watermarks are well suited for copyright protection because they stay intact with the image under various manipulations. We investigated two major approaches of robust watermarking. In the synchronization approach, we employed motion estimation for watermark resynchronization. We also developed a novel watermark resynchronization method that has low computational cost using scale normalization and flowline curvature. In another approach, we firstly analyzed and improved a blind watermark detection method. The new method reduces significantly the computational cost of its watermark embedding. Secondly, we created a geometric invariant domain using a combination of transforms, and adapted the blind watermark detection method that we improved. It totally eliminates the need of resynchronization in watermark detection, which is a very desirable achievement that can hardly be found in existing schemes.

On the other hand, semi-fragile watermarks are good at content authentication because they can differentiate minor image enhancements from major manipulations. New capabilities of semi-fragile watermarks are identified. Then, we developed a semi-fragile watermarking method in wavelet domain that offers content authentication and tamper localization. Unlike others, our scheme overcomes a major challenge called cropping attack and provides approximate content recovery without resorting to an original image.

Hybrid schemes combine robust and semi-fragile watermarks to offer deductive information in digital media forensics. We firstly carried out a pilot study by combining robust and fragile watermarks. Then, we performed a comparative analysis on two implementation methods of a hybrid watermarking scheme. The first method has the robust watermark and the fragile watermark overlapped while the second method uses non-overlapping robust and fragile watermarks. Based on the results of the comparative analysis, we merge our geometric invariant domain with our semi-fragile watermark to produce a hybrid scheme. This hybrid scheme fulfilled the copyright protection, tamper detection, and content authentication objectives when evaluated in an investigation scenario.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

6,961 since deposited on 03 Dec 2008
292 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 16457
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Du, Jiang & Pham, Binh
Keywords: digital watermark, image watermark, robust watermark, semi-fragile watermark, hybrid watermark, copyright protection, content authentication, tamper detection, tamper localization, self-embedding, self-authentication, self-recovery
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Division of Research and Commercialisation
Past > Institutes > Information Security Institute
Department: Cross-Faculty Collaboration
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Chaw-Seng Woo
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 04:03
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:48

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page