Casas J, Torres L. A region-based subband coding scheme. Signal Processing: Image Communication. 1997;10(1-3):173–200.


This paper describes a region-based subband coding scheme intended for efficient representation of the visual information contained in image regions of arbitrary shape. QMF filters are separately applied inside each region for the analysis and synthesis stages, using a signal-adaptive symmetric extension technique at region borders. The frequency coefficients corresponding to each region are identified over the various subbands of the decomposition, so that the coding steps — namely, bit-allocation, quantization and entropy coding — can be performed independently for each region. Region-based subband coding exploits the possible homogeneity of the region contents by distributing the available bitrate not only in the frequency domain but also in the spatial domain, i.e. among the considered regions. The number of bits assigned to the subbands is optimized region by region for the whole image, by means of a rate-distortion optimization algorithm. Improved compression efficiency is obtained thanks to the local adaptativity of the bit allocation to the spectral contents of the different regions. This compensates for the overhead data spent in the coding of contour information. As the subband coefficients obtained for each region are coded as separate data units, the content-based functionalities required for the future MPEG4 video coding standard can be readily handled. For instance, content-based scalability is possible by simply imposing user-defined constraints to the bit-assignment in some regions.