sparese coding, overcomplete representation, image compression


Overcomplete representations are currently one of the highly researched areas especially in the field of signal processing due to their strong potential to generate sparse representation of signals. Sparse representation implies that given signal can be represented with components that are only rarely significantly active. It has been strongly argued that the mammalian visual system is highly related towards sparse and overcomplete representations. The primary visual cortex has overcomplete responses in representing an input signal which leads to the use of sparse neuronal activity for further processing. This work investigates the sparse coding with an overcomplete basis set representation which is believed to be the strategy employed by the mammalian visual system for efficient coding of natural images. This work analyzes the Sparse Code Learning algorithm in which the given image is represented by means of linear superposition of sparse statistically independent events on a set of overcomplete basis functions. This algorithm trains and adapts the overcomplete basis functions such as to represent any given image in terms of sparse structures. The second part of the work analyzes an inhibition based sparse coding model in which the Gabor based overcomplete representations are used to represent the image. It then applies an iterative inhibition algorithm based on competition between neighboring transform coefficients to select subset of Gabor functions such as to represent the given image with sparse set of coefficients. This work applies the developed models for the image compression applications and tests the achievable levels of compression of it. The research towards these areas so far proves that sparse coding algorithms are inefficient in representing high frequency sharp image features. So this work analyzes the performance of these algorithms only on the natural images which does not have sharp features and compares the compression results with the current industrial standard coding schemes such as JPEG and JPEG 2000. It also models the characteristics of an image falling on the retina after the distortion effects of the eye and then applies the developed algorithms towards these images and tests compression results.


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Graduation Date





Wei, Lei


Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (M.S.E.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Degree Program

Electrical Engineering








Release Date

September 2007

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)