The University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario, Canada
Department of Computer Science

CS 4481a/9532a - Image Compression
Course Outline - Fall (September--December) 2012

This course uses the Online Western's Learning (OWL) system (

A: Instructor

B: Graduate Teaching Assistance

C: Lectures

D: Course Description

It is widely believed that a picture is worth more than a thousand words. However, dealing with digital pictures (images) requires far more computer memory and transmission time than that needed for plain text.

To be able to efficiently handle the huge amount of data associated with images, compression schemes are needed. Image compression is a process intended to yield a compact representation of an image, hence, reducing the image storage/transmission requirements.

Over the last few decades, many good image compression schemes have been developed. These schemes are currently used in commercial compression products/systems, e.g., JPEG and GIF. The performance of these schemes varies from low to high compression ratios with low to high levels of degradation of the decompressed images.

This course provides students with a solid understanding of the fundamentals and the principles of various digital still-image compression schemes.

Upon completion of the course, the students will be equipped with the fundamental knowledge that will help them understand various compression techniques in such a way to optimize their use for a particular application.

E: Topics To Be Covered During The Course

The course will address as many of the following topics as time will allow:

F: Prerequisites

Unless you have either the prerequisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enroll in it, you will be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites.

G: Antirequisites

H: Textbook

Introduction to Data Compression, 3rd Edition
By Khalid Sayood
Elsevier/Morgan Kaufmann, 2005.

Note that, at least one copy of this book (TK5102.92.S39 2006) is available at the Taylor Library.

I: Course Website

The CS 4481a course uses the Online Western's Learning (OWL) system (

Lecture notes, assignments, and class information will be posted on this website. You are responsible for reading this information frequently.

Possessing (and even reading) lecture notes is not a suitable substitute for attending lectures.

J: Accessibility Statement

Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also wish to contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at 661-2111 x 82147 for any specific question regarding an accommodation.

K: Computing Facilities

Each student will be given an account on the Computer Science Department undergraduate computing facility, GAUL. In accepting the GAUL account, a student agrees to abide by the department's Rules of Ethical Conduct.

Note that, after-hours access to certain Computer Science lab rooms is by student card. If a student card is lost, a replacement card will not automatically open these lab rooms. In this case, the student must bring the new card to a member of the Systems Group in Middlesex College Room 346 to activate it.

L: Email Contact

We occasionally need to send email messages to the class or to students individually. Such emails are sent to the UWO email address as assigned to you by Information Technology Services (ITS), i.e. your email address It is your responsibility to read your email account on a frequent and regular basis, or to have it forwarded to an alternative email address if preferred. See the ITS website for directions on forwarding email.

However, note that email at ITS (your UWO account) and other email providers may have quotas or limits on the amount of space they dedicate to each account. Unchecked email may accumulate beyond those limits and you may be unable to retrieve important messages from your instructors. Losing email is not an acceptable excuse for not knowing about the information that was sent.

M: Assignment Conduct

N: Quiz Conduct