Robust histogram shape-based method for image watermarking

Tianrui Zong, Yong Xiang, Iynkaran Natgunanathan, Song Guo, Wanlei Zhou, Gleb Beliakov

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

116 Citations (Scopus)


Cropping and random bending are two common attacks in image watermarking. In this paper we propose a novel image-watermarking method to deal with these attacks, as well as other common attacks. In the embedding process, we first preprocess the host image by a Gaussian low-pass filter. Then, a secret key is used to randomly select a number of gray levels and the histogram of the filtered image with respect to these selected gray levels is constructed. After that, a histogram-shape-related index is introduced to choose the pixel groups with the highest number of pixels and a safe band is built between the chosen and nonchosen pixel groups. A watermark-embedding scheme is proposed to insert watermarks into the chosen pixel groups. The usage of the histogram-shape-related index and safe band results in good robustness. Moreover, a novel high-frequency component modification mechanism is also utilized in the embedding scheme to further improve robustness. At the decoding end, based on the available secret key, the watermarked pixel groups are identified and watermarks are extracted from them. The effectiveness of the proposed image-watermarking method is demonstrated by simulation examples.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6930818
Pages (from-to)717-729
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • cropping
  • Gaussian filtering
  • histogram
  • Image watermarking
  • random bending

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Media Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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