Uncovering copy–move traces using principal component analysis, discrete cosine transform and Gabor filter

  • Alaa HilalEmail author
  • Samer Chantaf


Digital image authenticity is always an imperative question to tackle whenever a digital image is being assessed for its content. Using digital forensic algorithms, the image will be evaluated for various traces left from numerous categories of manipulations including, among others, copy–move operations. Later this is considered an essential block in most digital image forgeries. It results in changing the information incorporated in a scene, hiding information from an image, or emphasizing some parts of the image. In this paper we propose and investigate two main approaches that differ in the feature extraction process in order to detect copy–move traces. In the first method, we use two-dimensional discrete cosine transform. Whereas in the second method, the phase response of Gabor filter is being used. Instead of being applied on the image directly, the two methods are applied over the first, the second or the third principal component of the image after being divided into overlapping blocks. Combining these conditions results in six basic implementations that are investigated under three parameters that must be optimized: block dimension, contrast and similarity thresholds. Results from testing and validation process demonstrate that the highest performance, in terms of false accept rate, is obtained when using Gabor filter associated with the first principal component of the image outperforming a reference method we implemented as well.


Digital image processing Image forensics Digital image forgeries Copy–move forgery Duplicated region detection 



This work was supported by a Grant from the Lebanese University.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University Institute of TechnologyLebanese UniversityAabeyLebanon
  2. 2.University Institute of TechnologyLebanese UniversitySaidaLebanon

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