Reversible data hiding with differential compression in encrypted image

  • Zhenjun TangEmail author
  • Shijie Xu
  • Heng Yao
  • Chuan Qin
  • Xianquan Zhang


This paper proposes a novel reversible data hiding (RDH) algorithm with differential compression (DC) in encrypted image, which has high embedding capacity. The key contributions are two sides. (1) An efficient block-based encryption scheme is developed for encrypting image. It can transfer spatial correlation between neighboring pixels of plaintext image into encrypted image. (2) The DC scheme is proposed to conduct compression of encrypted image. It can efficiently compress encrypted image by exploiting pixel correlation and vacate a large room for data embedding. Many experiments are conducted to evaluate the performance of our RDH algorithm. Comparisons illustrate that our RDH algorithm outperforms some state-of-the-art algorithms in embedding capacity and computational time.


Reversible data hiding Image encryption Differential compression Huffman coding 



This work is partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (61562007, 61762017, 61702332, 61672354), Guangxi “Bagui Scholar” Teams for Innovation and Research, the Guangxi Natural Science Foundation (2017GXNSFAA198222, 2015GXNSFDA139040), the Project of Guangxi Science and Technology (GuiKeAD17195062), the Project of the Guangxi Key Lab of Multi-source Information Mining & Security (16-A-02-02, 15-A-02-02), and the Innovation Project of Guangxi Graduate Education (XYCSZ 2018076). The authors would like to thank the anonymous referees for their valuable comments and suggestions.


  1. 1.
    Agrawal S, Kumar M (2017) Mean value based reversible data hiding in encrypted images. Optik - International Journal for Light and Electron Optics 30:922–934CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Arithmetic Coding and Huffman Coding in MATLAB, Available:
  3. 3.
    Celik MU, Sharma G, Tekalp AM, Saber E (2005) Lossless generalized-LSB data embedding. IEEE Trans Image Process 14(2):253–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    CVG (UGR) Image database. Available:
  5. 5.
    Fridrich J, Goljan M, Du R (2002) Lossless data embedding–New paradigm in digital watermarking. EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing 2002(2):185–196CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hong W, Chen T, Wu H (2012) An improved reversible data hiding in encrypted images using side match. IEEE Signal Processing Letters 19(4):199–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Huang J, Shi YQ (1998) An adaptive image watermarking scheme based on visual masking. Electron Lett 34(8):748–750CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Huang F, Huang J, Shi YQ (2016) New framework for reversible data hiding in encrypted domain. IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics & Security 11(12):2777–2789CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Image database of BOWS-2. Available:
  10. 10.
    Li M, Li Y (2017) Histogram shifting in encrypted images with public key cryptosystem for reversible data hiding. Signal Process 130:190–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Li X, Zhang W, Gui X, Yang B (2017) Efficient reversible data hiding based on multiple histograms modification. IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics & Security 10(9):2016–2027Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Liao X, Shu C (2015) Reversible data hiding in encrypted images based on absolute mean difference of multiple neighboring pixels. J Vis Commun Image Represent 28:21–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Liu Y, Nie L, Han L, Zhang L and Rosenblum DS (2015) Action2Activity: Recognizing complex activities from sensor data, In: Proc. of the Twenty-Fourth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, pp.1617–1623Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Liu Y, Nie L, Liu L, Rosenblum DS (2016) From action to activity: sensor-based activity recognition. Neurocomputing 181:108–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Liu Y, Zhang L, Nie L, Yan Y, and Rosenblum DS (2016) Fortune teller: Predicting your career path, In: Proc. of the Thirtieth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, pp. 201–207Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Liu Y, Zheng Y, Liang Y, Liu S, and Rosenblum DS (2016) Urban water quality prediction based on multi-task multi-view learning, In: Proc. of the Twenty-Fifth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, pp.2576–2582Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ma K, Zhang W, Zhao X, Yu N, Li F (2013) Reversible data hiding in encrypted images by reserving room before encryption. IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security 8(3):553–562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ma Y, Luo X, Li X, Bao Z, Zhang Y (2018) Selection of rich model steganalysis features based on decision rough set α-positive region reduction. IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology.
  19. 19.
    Ni Z, Shi YQ, Ansari N, and Su W (2003) Reversible data hiding, In: Proc. of IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems, pp.912–915Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Qian Z, Xu H, Luo X, Zhang X (2018) New framework of reversible data hiding in encrypted JPEG bitstreams. IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology.
  21. 21.
    Qin C, Zhang X (2015) Effective reversible data hiding in encrypted image with privacy protection for image content. J Vis Commun Image Represent 31:154–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Qin C, Chang CC, Hsu T (2013) Reversible data hiding scheme based on exploiting modification direction with two steganographic images. Multimedia Tools and Applications 74(15):5861–5872CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Qin C, Chang CC, Huang Y, Liao L (2013) An inpainting-assisted reversible steganographic scheme using a histogram shifting mechanism. IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology 23(7):1109–1118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Qin C, He Z, Yao H, Cao F, Gao L (2018) Visible watermark removal scheme based on reversible data hiding and image inpainting. Signal Process Image Commun 60:160–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Rivest RL (1992) The RC4 Encryption Algorithm, RSA Data Security IncGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Shi YQ, Ni Z, Zou D, Liang C, and Xuan G (2004) Lossless data hiding: fundamentals, algorithms and applications, In: Proc. of IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems, vol.2, pp.33–36Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Shi YQ, Li X, Zhang X, Wu HT, Ma B (2016) Reversible data hiding: advances in the past two decades. IEEE Access 4:3210–3237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Shiu C, Chen Y, Hong W (2015) Encrypted image-based reversible data hiding with public key cryptography from difference expansion. Signal Process Image Commun 39:226–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Skretting K, Håkon Husøy J, and Aase SO (1999) Improved Huffman coding using recursive splitting, In: Proc. of NORSIG 1999 conference, pp.9–11Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Tang Z, Zhang X, Zhang S (2014) Robust perceptual image hashing based on ring partition and NMF. IEEE Trans Knowl Data Eng 26(3):711–724CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Tang Z, Zhang X, Lan W (2015) Efficient image encryption with block shuffling and chaotic map. Multimedia Tools and Applications 74(15):5429–5448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Tang Z, Zhang X, Li X, Zhang S (2016) Robust image hashing with ring partition and invariant vector distance. IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security 11(1):200–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Tang Z, Wang F, Zhang X (2017) Image encryption based on random projection partition and chaotic system. Multimedia Tools and Applications 76(6):8257–8283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Tang Z, Lu Q, Lao H, Yu C, Zhang X (2018) Error-free reversible data hiding with high capacity in encrypted image. Optik-International Journal for Light and Electron Optics 157:750–760CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Tian J (2002) Reversible watermarking by difference expansion, In: Proc. of Workshop on Multimedia and Security, pp. 19–22Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Tian J (2003) Reversible data embedding using a difference expansion. IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology 13(8):890–896CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    van Leest A, van der Veen M, and Bruekers F (2003) Reversible image watermarking, In: Proc. of International Conference on Image Processing, vol.2, pp.731–734Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Weng S, Zhao Y, Pan JS, Ni R (2008) Reversible watermarking based on invariability and adjustment on pixel pairs. IEEE Signal Processing Letters 15:721–724CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Weng S, Pan JS, Li L (2016) Reversible data hiding based on an adaptive pixel-embedding strategy and two-layer embedding. Inf Sci 369:144–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Weng S, Liu Y, Pan JS, Cai N (2016) Reversible data hiding based on flexible block-partition and adaptive block-modification strategy. J Vis Commun Image Represent 41:185–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Xuan G, Zhu J, Chen J, Shi YQ, Ni Z, Su W (2002) Distortionless data hiding based on integer wavelet transform. Electron Lett 38(25):1646–1648CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Xuan G, Shi YQ, Chai P, Cui X, Ni Z, and Tong X (2007) Optimum histogram pair based image lossless data embedding, In: Proc. of International Workshop on Digital Watermarking, vol.5041, pp. 264–278Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Zhang X (2011) Reversible data hiding in encrypted image. IEEE Signal Processing Letters 18(4):255–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Zhang X, Tang Z, Liang T, Zhang S, Zhu Y, Sun Y (2012) Data hiding method based on local image feature. Lect Notes Comput Sci 7669:247–256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Zhang W, Ma K, Yu N (2014) Reversibility improved data hiding in encrypted images. Signal Process 94(1):118–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Zhang X, Sun Z, Tang Z, Yu C, Wang X (2017) High capacity data hiding based on interpolated image. Multimedia Tools and Applications 76(7):9195–9218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Zhang Y, Qin C, Zhang W, Liu F, Luo X (2018) On the fault-tolerant performance for a class of robust image steganography. Signal Process 146:99–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Zheng S, Li D, Hu D, Ye D, Wang L, Wang J (2016) Lossless data hiding algorithm for encrypted images with high capacity. Multimedia Tools & Applications 75(21):13765–13778CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Guangxi Key Lab of Multi-source Information Mining & Security, and Department of Computer ScienceGuangxi Normal UniversityGuilinChina
  2. 2.Guangxi Collaborative Innovation Center of Multi-source Information Integration and Intelligent ProcessingGuangxi Normal UniversityGuilinChina
  3. 3.Shanghai Key Lab of Modern Optical System, and Engineering Research Center of Optical Instrument and System, Ministry of EducationUniversity of Shanghai for Science and TechnologyShanghaiChina

Personalised recommendations