Multimedia Tools and Applications

, Volume 77, Issue 18, pp 23483–23500 | Cite as

Optimal blind watermarking for color images based on the U matrix of quaternion singular value decomposition

  • Feng Liu
  • Long-Hua Ma
  • Cong Liu
  • Zhe-Ming Lu


In this paper, a new blind watermarking for copyright protection of color images based on the U matrix through Quaternion Singular Value Decomposition (QSVD) is proposed. The proposed method represents the color image with a quaternion matrix, so that it can deal with the multichannel information in a holistic way. Then the array of pure quaternion is divided into non-overlapping blocks and we perform QSVD on each block to get its U matrix. The watermark is inserted into the optimally selected coefficients of the quaternion elements in the first column of the U matrix. Besides, in the procedures of watermark insertion and extraction, ensuring higher fidelity and robustness to several possible image attacks have been considered. The experimental results show that the proposed method outperforms existing schemes in terms of robustness and invisibility.


Image watermarking Copyright protection Quaternion singular value decomposition (QSVD) U matrix 



This work is supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China under grant No.61633019, 61272020 and the Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China under grant No. LZ15F030004 and Ningbo Science & Technology Plan Project under grant No.2014B82015 and the Natural Science Foundation of Ningbo City under Grants 2015A610134 and the General project of Zhejiang Provincial Department of Education under grant No Y201636899.


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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Information Science and Engineering, Ningbo Institute of TechnologyZhejiang UniversityNingboPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Aeronautics and AstronauticsZhejiang UniversityHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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