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Compression of Biomedical Images and Signals by Christine Cavaro-Menard, Amine Naït-Ali

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Chapter 2

State of the Art of Compression Methods

2.1. Introduction

The development of new techniques in the fields of IT and communications has a great impact on our daily lives. In parallel to the constant evolution of information systems, the increase of bandwidths allows us to access and share huge quantities of data proposed by innovative services and uses. Exciting scientific problems arise concerning multimedia content, network architecture and protocols, services and uses, information-sharing and security issues. In this context, data compression remains an essential step both for transmission and for archiving.

Since the 1980s, a wide community of researchers has been working on compression techniques. Their work has led to significant advances: the broadcasting of digital television at home using a reduced bandwidth ADSL; the archival of high quality digital images on the reduced memory of a digital camera; the storage of hours of music in MP3 format on a flash drive player. To give a well known example, the JPEG standard for the compression of still images is the result of the efforts of a large scientific community between 1987 and 1993, when the standard was set. The work that led to the creation of this standard was instigated even earlier, with the proposal of a discrete cosine transform in 1974 by [AHM 74].

The collaboration of the international research community has continued with developments of quite interesting techniques for the compression of video, audio ...

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