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Accurate and robust localization of duplicated region in copy–move image forgery

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Copy–move image forgery detection has recently become a very active research topic in blind image forensics. In copy–move image forgery, a region from some image location is copied and pasted to a different location of the same image. Typically, post-processing is applied to better hide the forgery. Using keypoint-based features, such as SIFT features, for detecting copy–move image forgeries has produced promising results. The main idea is detecting duplicated regions in an image by exploiting the similarity between keypoint-based features in these regions. In this paper, we have adopted keypoint-based features for copy–move image forgery detection; however, our emphasis is on accurate and robust localization of duplicated regions. In this context, we are interested in estimating the transformation (e.g., affine) between the copied and pasted regions more accurately as well as extracting these regions as robustly by reducing the number of false positives and negatives. To address these issues, we propose using a more powerful set of keypoint-based features, called MIFT, which shares the properties of SIFT features but also are invariant to mirror reflection transformations. Moreover, we propose refining the affine transformation using an iterative scheme which improves the estimation of the affine transformation parameters by incrementally finding additional keypoint matches. To reduce false positives and negatives when extracting the copied and pasted regions, we propose using “dense” MIFT features, instead of standard pixel correlation, along with hysteresis thresholding and morphological operations. The proposed approach has been evaluated and compared with competitive approaches through a comprehensive set of experiments using a large dataset of real images (i.e., CASIA v2.0). Our results indicate that our method can detect duplicated regions in copy–move image forgery with higher accuracy, especially when the size of the duplicated region is small.

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This work is supported by grant 10-INF1140-02 under the National Plan for Science and Technology (NPST), King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. George Bebis is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Computer Science at King Saud University, Saudi Arabia.

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Correspondence to George Bebis.

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Jaberi, M., Bebis, G., Hussain, M. et al. Accurate and robust localization of duplicated region in copy–move image forgery. Machine Vision and Applications 25, 451–475 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00138-013-0522-0

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  • Blind image forensics
  • Copy–move image forgery
  • SIFT
  • MIFT
  • Matching