Expert Systems with Applications

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Recently, Zhang and Wang proposed a steganographic scheme by exploiting modification direction (EMD) to embed one secret digit d in the base-(2 × n + 1) notational system into a group of n cover pixels at a time. Therefore, the hiding capacity of the EMD method is log2(2 × n + 1)/n bit per pixel (bpp). In addition, its visual quality is not optimal. To overcome the drawbacks of the EMD method, we propose a novel steganographic scheme by exploiting eight modification directions to hide several secret bits into a cover pixel pair at a time. By this way, the proposed method can achieve various hiding capacities of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 4.5 bpp and good visual qualities of 52.39, 46.75, 40.83, 34.83, and 31.70 dB, respectively. The experimental results show that the proposed method outperforms three recently published works, namely Mielikainen’s, Zhang and Wang’s, and Yang et al.’s methods.


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Information hiding, Watermarking, Steganography, Secret communication, Modification directions