The Original Project Proposal

In 1994, Burrows and Wheeler proposed a new lossless compression algorithm. The heart of the algorithm is a reversible block sort which increases the compressibility of the input data.

As described in the original paper, this algorithm is only applicable to text data. It cannot be applied directly to image data. It is possible, however, to encode or transform the image data before using the Burrows-Wheeler Transform (BWT). This project will investigate various methods of transforming the image data, including DCT and DWT, to make it suitable for use with the BWT. Initially, we shall compare the performance of a lossless compression scheme incorporating the BWT with a high-performance modern compression standard, e.g. JPEG-LS. Then we shall investigate the usefulness of the BWT as part of a lossy compression scheme.

Our goal is to develop a compression algorithm incorporating first an appropriate transform of the image data, followed by the BWT, then finally an encoding scheme that together are competitive with the best modern methods of lossless and lossy compression.

Further goals include the modification of the BWT to make it more suitable for 2-dimensional image data.