Rank-based image watermarking method with high embedding capacity and robustness

Tianrui Zong, Yong Xiang, Song Guo, Yue Rong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a novel rank-based method for image watermarking. In the watermark embedding process, the host image is divided into blocks, followed by the 2-D discrete cosine transform (DCT). For each image block, a secret key is employed to randomly select a set of DCT coefficients suitable for watermark embedding. Watermark bits are inserted into an image block by modifying the set of DCT coefficients using a rank-based embedding rule. In the watermark detection process, the corresponding detection matrices are formed from the received image using the secret key. Afterward, the watermark bits are extracted by checking the ranks of the detection matrices. Since the proposed watermarking method only uses two DCT coefficients to hide one watermark bit, it can achieve very high embedding capacity. Moreover, our method is free of host signal interference. This desired feature and the usage of an error buffer in watermark embedding result in high robustness against attacks. Theoretical analysis and experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7458817
Pages (from-to)1689-1699
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Discrete cosine transform
  • High embedding capacity
  • Host signal interference
  • Image watermarking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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