Signal Processing: Image Communication

Technical features of the JBIG standard for progressive bi-level image compression

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The JBIG coding standard like the G3 and G4 facsimile standards defines a method for the lossless (bit-preserving) compression of bi-level (two-tone or black/white) images. One advantage it has over G3/G4 is superior compression, especially on bi-level images rendering greyscale via halftoning. On such images compression improvements as large as a factor of ten are common. A second advantage of the JBIG standard is that it can be parameterized for progressive coding. Progressive coding has application in image databases that must serve displays of differing resolution, image databases delivering images to CRT displays over medium rate (say, 9.6 to 64 kbit/s) channels, and image transmission services using packet networks having packet priority classes. It is also possible to parameterize for sequential coding in applications not benefiting from progressive buildup. It is possible to effectively use the JBIG coding standard for coding greyscale and color images as well as bi-level images. The simple strategy of treating bit-planes as independent bi-level images for JBIG coding yields compressions at least comparable to and sometimes better than the JPEG standard in its lossless mode. The excellent compression and great flexibility of JBIG coding make it attractive in a wide variety of environments. © 1992.