Three compression algorithms were compared by using contrast-detail (CD) analysis. Two phantoms were designed to simulate computed tomography (CT) scans of the head. The first was based on CT scans of a plastic cylinder containing water. The second was formed by combining a CT scan of a head with a scan of the water phantom. The soft tissue of the brain was replaced by a subimage containing only water. The compression algorithms studied were the full-frame discrete cosine (FDCT) algorithm, the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) algorithm, and a wavelet algorithm. Both the wavelet and JPEG algorithms affected regions of the image near the boundary of the skull. The FDCT algorithm propagated false edges throughout the region interior to the skull. The wavelet algorithm affected the images less than the other compression algorithms. The presence of the skull especially affected observer performance on the FDCT compressed images. All of the findings demonstrated a flattening of the CD curve for large lesions. The results of a compression study using lossy compression algorithms is dependent on the characteristics ofthe image and the nature of the diagnostic task. Because of the high density bone of the skull, head CT images present a much more difficult compression problem than chest x-rays. We found no significant differences among the CD curves for the tested compression algorithms.
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Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)
Cook, Larry; Cox, Glendon; Insana, Michael; and McFadden, Michael, "Contrast-detail analysis ofthe effect of image compression on computed tomographic images" (1996). Accessed from
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