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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-11

Volumetric medical image coding: An object-based, lossy-to-lossless and fully scalable approach

1 Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Shiraz University of Technology, Shiraz, Iran
2 Institute for Signal Processing, University of Lübeck, D-23538 Lübeck, Germany

Correspondence Address:
Habibiollah Danyali
Shiraz University of Technology, Shiraz
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2228-7477.83504

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In this article, an object-based, highly scalable, lossy-to-lossless 3D wavelet coding approach for volumetric medical image data (e.g., magnetic resonance (MR) and computed tomography (CT)) is proposed. The new method, called 3DOBHS-SPIHT, is based on the well-known set partitioning in the hierarchical trees (SPIHT) algorithm and supports both quality and resolution scalability. The 3D input data is grouped into groups of slices (GOS) and each GOS is encoded and decoded as a separate unit. The symmetric tree definition of the original 3DSPIHT is improved by introducing a new asymmetric tree structure. While preserving the compression efficiency, the new tree structure allows for a small size of each GOS, which not only reduces memory consumption during the encoding and decoding processes, but also facilitates more efficient random access to certain segments of slices. To achieve more compression efficiency, the algorithm only encodes the main object of interest in each 3D data set, which can have any arbitrary shape, and ignores the unnecessary background. The experimental results on some MR data sets show the good performance of the 3DOBHS-SPIHT algorithm for multi-resolution lossy-to-lossless coding. The compression efficiency, full scalability, and object-based features of the proposed approach, beside its lossy-to-lossless coding support, make it a very attractive candidate for volumetric medical image information archiving and transmission applications.

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