Significance map pruning and other enhancements to SPIHT image coding algorithm
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This paper proposes several enhancements to the Set Partitioning in Hierarchical Trees (SPIHT) image coding algorithm without changing the original algorithm's general skeleton. First and foremost, a method for significance map pruning based on a rate-distortion criterion is introduced. Specifically, the (Type A) sets of wavelet coefficients with small ratios of estimated distortion reduction to estimated rate contribution are deemed insignificant and effectively pruned. Even though determining such sets requires the computational complexity of the encoder to increase considerably with respect to the original SPIHT encoder, the original SPIHT decoder may still be used to decode the generated bitstream with a low computational complexity. The paper also proposes three low complexity enhancements by more sophisticated use of the adaptive arithmetic coder. Simulation results demonstrate that all these enhancements yield modest compression gains at moderate to high rates.