Adaptive LSB quantum watermarking method using tri-way pixel value differencing

  • Gaofeng Luo
  • Ri-Gui ZhouEmail author
  • Jia Luo
  • WenWen Hu
  • Yang Zhou
  • Hou Ian


As an important way to protect copyright by embedding watermark in digital images, quantum watermarking catches more and more attentions. In this study, a novel quantum watermarking method on the basis of tri-way pixel value differencing and modified least significant bit (LSB) substitution is proposed. A quantum cover image using the novel-enhanced quantum image representation is partitioned into non-overlapping 2 × 2 blocks with four pixels firstly. To classify the block as a smooth area or an edge area, the tri-way pixel value differences are calculated and compared with a predefined threshold. The quantum watermark image, which is expanded and scrambled, is then embedded into a quantum cover image by the k-bit LSB substitution method, where k is decided by the level of each block. The embedded quantum watermark can be extracted from the quantum stego-image without the assistance of original quantum cover image. Theoretical analysis and simulation-based experiments demonstrate both the feasibility and capabilities of the proposed quantum watermarking method, which has good visual quality, better robustness, and higher security.


Quantum image watermarking Pixel value difference Least significant bit Visual quality 



This work is supported by the National Key R&D Plan under Grant Nos. 2018YFC1200200 and 2018YFC1200205, National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant No. 61463016, and “Science and technology innovation action plan” of Shanghai in 2017 under Grant No. 17510740300.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gaofeng Luo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ri-Gui Zhou
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jia Luo
    • 1
  • WenWen Hu
    • 1
  • Yang Zhou
    • 1
  • Hou Ian
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Information EngineeringShanghai Maritime UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.College of Information EngineeringShaoyang UniversityHunanChina
  3. 3.Institute of Applied Physics and Materials Engineering, FSTUniversity of MacauMacauChina

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