Multimedia Tools and Applications

, Volume 77, Issue 20, pp 27491–27504 | Cite as

Artificial bee colony approach for enhancing LSB based image steganography

  • Anan BanharnsakunEmail author


The development of the internet offers the ability to transmit large amounts of data quite conveniently via networks. However, sensitive data in transmission can easily be intercepted by unknown persons or hackers on the internet. Steganography techniques are thus needed to protect the information being transmitted over the internet. In this paper, a new efficient method based on the artificial bee colony (ABC) approach is proposed to enhance LSB based image steganography. The ABC is employed to optimize the block assignment for embedding a secret image into a host image. However, this block assignment is considered as a combinatorial optimization problem, but the ordinary ABC algorithm is designed to solve numerical optimization problems. A block assignment list, which is used to represent the solutions in the ABC algorithm, is thus introduced and the solution updating process in the ABC based on the block assignment list is also presented in this work. Experimental results demonstrate that the stego image obtained by the proposed method is not only of good quality, but is also able to tolerate certain noise attacks when compared with other recent data hiding techniques in the spatial domain. In addition, the advantage of this proposed method is that it embeds the corresponding block of a secret image into each block of the host image with permutation. Thus, the secret image cannot be recovered from the stego image without knowing this permutation.


Image Steganography Least Significant Bit (LSB) Artificial Bee Colony (ABC) Data Hiding 



This work is partially supported by the Faculty of Engineering at Sriracha, Kasetsart University Sriracha Campus (2560/1).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Computational Intelligence Research Laboratory (CIRLab), Computer Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering at SrirachaKasetsart University Sriracha CampusChonburiThailand

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