Multimedia Tools and Applications

, Volume 74, Issue 23, pp 10657–10678 | Cite as

Adaptive reversible data hiding based on a local smoothness estimator

  • Shaowei WengEmail author
  • Jeng-Shyang Pan


A novel reversible watermarking (RW) scheme based on a local smoothness estimator and multi-step embedding strategy is proposed in this paper. All the pixels are divided into four equal parts. Correspondingly, the watermark embedding process is separated into four independent steps. Thus each step is performed to embed watermark information into its corresponding image part. In each step, for each to-be-embedded pixel, a local smoothness estimator defined as the variance of its total neighbors is presented to estimate its local smoothness. An obvious advantage of introducing this estimator is that it can determine those pixels in smooth regions accurately. In fact, accurate determination means the decrease in embedding distortion. At the low embedding rate (ER), modifications induced by difference expansion (DE) are done only to those pixels located in smooth regions. Hence, the proposed method can obtain high embedding capacity while maintaining good visual quality. With ER gradually increased, adaptive embedding is employed. In adaptive embedding, for one to-be-embedded pixel, 1 or 2 bits are adaptively embedded according to the strength of relationship among all the pixels surrounding it. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method is effective.


Reversible watermarking Adaptive embedding technique The local smoothness estimator Multi-step embedding strategy 



This work was supported in part by National NSF of China (No. 61201393, No. 61272498, No. 61001179), New Star of Pearl River on Science and Technology of Guangzhou (No. 2014J2200085).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Information EngineeringGuangdong University of TechnologyGuangdongPeople’s Republic China
  2. 2.Graduate SchoolHarbin Institute of Technology ShenzhenShenzhenPeople’s Republic China

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