Optimization of trade-offs in error-free image transmission

Jerome R. Cox, Stephen M. Moore, G. James Blaine, John B. Zimmerman, Gregory K. Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The availability of ubiquitous wide-area channels of both modest cost and higher transmission rate than voice-grade lines promises to allow the expansion of electronic radiology services to a larger community. The band-widths of the new services becoming available from the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) are typically limited to 128 Kb/s, almost two orders of magnitude lower than popular LANs can support. Using Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) techniques, a compressed approximation to an image may be rapidly transmitted. However, intensity or resampling transformations of the reconstructed image may reveal otherwise invisible artifacts of the approximate encoding. A progressive transmission scheme reported in ISO Working Paper N800 offers an attractive solution to this problem by rapidly reconstructing an apparently undistorted image from the DCT coefficients and then subse-quently transmitting the error image corresponding to the difference between the original and the reconstructed images. This approach achieves an error-free transmission without sacrificing the perception of rapid image delivery. Furthermore, subsequent intensity and resampling manipulations can be carried out with confidence. DCT coefficient precision affects the amount of error information that must be transmitted and, hence the delivery speed of error-free images. This study calculates the overall information coding rate for six radiographic images as a function of DCT coefficient precision. The results demonstrate that a minimum occurs for each of the six images at an average coefficient precision of between 0.5 and 1.0 bits per pixel (b/p). Apparently undistorted versions of these six images can be transmitted with a coding rate of between 0.25 and 0.75 b/p while error-free versions can be transmitted with an overall coding rate between 4.5 and 6.5 b/p.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-30
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - May 8 1989


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