Digital watermark technology in security applications
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With the rising emphasis on security and the number of fraud related crimes around the world, authorities are looking for new technologies to tighten security of identity. Among many modern electronic technologies, digital watermarking has unique advantages to enhance the document authenticity. At the current status of the development, digital watermarking technologies are not as matured as other competing technologies to support identity authentication systems. This work presents improvements in performance of two classes of digital watermarking techniques and investigates the issue of watermark synchronisation. Optimal performance can be obtained if the spreading sequences are designed to be orthogonal to the cover vector. In this thesis, two classes of orthogonalisation methods that generate binary sequences quasi-orthogonal to the cover vector are presented. One method, namely "Sorting and Cancelling" generates sequences that have a high level of orthogonality to the cover vector. The Hadamard Matrix based orthogonalisation method, namely "Hadamard Matrix Search" is able to realise overlapped embedding, thus the watermarking capacity and image fidelity can be improved compared to using short watermark sequences. The results are compared with traditional pseudo-randomly generated binary sequences. The advantages of both classes of orthogonalisation inethods are significant. Another watermarking method that is introduced in the thesis is based on writing-on-dirty-paper theory. The method is presented with biorthogonal codes that have the best robustness. The advantage and trade-offs of using biorthogonal codes with this watermark coding methods are analysed comprehensively. The comparisons between orthogonal and non-orthogonal codes that are used in this watermarking method are also made. It is found that fidelity and robustness are contradictory and it is not possible to optimise them simultaneously. Comparisons are also made between all proposed methods. The comparisons are focused on three major performance criteria, fidelity, capacity and robustness. aom two different viewpoints, conclusions are not the same. For fidelity-centric viewpoint, the dirty-paper coding methods using biorthogonal codes has very strong advantage to preserve image fidelity and the advantage of capacity performance is also significant. However, from the power ratio point of view, the orthogonalisation methods demonstrate significant advantage on capacity and robustness. The conclusions are contradictory but together, they summarise the performance generated by different design considerations. The synchronisation of watermark is firstly provided by high contrast frames around the watermarked image. The edge detection filters are used to detect the high contrast borders of the captured image. By scanning the pixels from the border to the centre, the locations of detected edges are stored. The optimal linear regression algorithm is used to estimate the watermarked image frames. Estimation of the regression function provides rotation angle as the slope of the rotated frames. The scaling is corrected by re-sampling the upright image to the original size. A theoretically studied method that is able to synchronise captured image to sub-pixel level accuracy is also presented. By using invariant transforms and the "symmetric phase only matched filter" the captured image can be corrected accurately to original geometric size. The method uses repeating watermarks to form an array in the spatial domain of the watermarked image and the the array that the locations of its elements can reveal information of rotation, translation and scaling with two filtering processes.
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