Reversible difference expansion multi-layer data hiding technique for medical images

(1) Pascal Maniriho Mail (Rwanda Polytechnic - IPRC Karongi, Rwanda)
(2) Leki Jovial Mahoro Mail (Vaal University of Technology, South Africa)
(3) Zephanie Bizimana Mail (Rwanda Polytechnic-IPRC Karongi, Rwanda)
(4) Ephrem Niyigaba Mail (Rwanda Polytechnic-IPRC Karongi, Rwanda)
(5) * Tohari Ahmad Mail (Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS), Indonesia)
*corresponding author


Maintaining the privacy and security of confidential information in data communication has always been a major concern. It is because the advancement of information technology is likely to be followed by an increase in cybercrime, such as illegal access to sensitive data. Several techniques were proposed to overcome that issue, for example, by hiding data in digital images. Reversible data hiding is an excellent approach for concealing private data due to its ability to be applied in various fields. However, it yields a limited payload and the quality of the image holding data (Stego image), and consequently, these two factors may not be addressed simultaneously. This paper addresses this problem by introducing a new non-complexity difference expansion (DE) and block-based reversible multi-layer data hiding technique constructed by exploring DE. Sensitive data are embedded into the difference values calculated between the original pixels in each block with relatively low complexity. To improve the payload capacity, confidential data are embedded in multiple layers of grayscale medical images while preserving their quality. The experiment results prove that the proposed technique has increased the payload with an average of 369999 bits and kept the peak signal to noise ratio (PSNR) to the average of 36.506 dB using medical images' adequate security the embedded private data. This proposed method has improved the performance, especially the secret size, without reducing much the quality. Therefore, it is suitable to use for relatively big payloads.


Data hiding; Data protection; Data security; Digital content; Information security



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