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A novel approach for high-capacity DCT-based steganography
The strong energy compaction property of the Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) has inspired researchers to utilize the DCT transform technique in steganography. The DCT transform can effectively represent a signal within a few significant coefficients leaving a large area with insignificant coefficients that can be safely replaced by a substantial amount of secret data. It has been proven that this strong energy compaction property has a relation with the correlation of the signal. The higher the correlation, the stronger the compaction, and thus more data can be hidden. Therefore, several state-of-the-art image steganography techniques tend to segment the cover image into homogeneous segments to exploit the strong compaction property of the DCT. In this paper, a precise segmentation process using the region-growing segmentation method is applied to maximize the homogeneity level between pixels in a segment, and thus, maximizing the hiding capacity while achieving improved stego quality.