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

CS 4481b/9628b - Image Compression
Course Outline - Winter (January -- April) 2018

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

A: Instructor

B: Graduate Teaching Assistance


Teaching Assistances' Office hours: By appointment only

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, 5th Edition
By Khalid Sayood
Elsevier/Morgan Kaufmann, 2017.

I: Course Website

The CS 4481b 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 the 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 emails may accumulate beyond those limits and you may be unable to retrieve important messages from your instructors. Losing emails is not an acceptable excuse for not knowing about the information that was sent.

M: Assignment Conduct

N: Quiz Conduct

O: In class Seminar/Presentation (For graduate students only)

Each graduate student will present an in-class seminar/presentation on an Image Compression related topic. Seminar topics must first be discussed with, and approved by, the instructor.

P: Ethical Conduct

Scholastic offences are taken seriously and students are directed to read the appropriate policy, specifically, the definition of what constitutes a Scholastic Offence, at the following Web site: .

Students must write their essays and assignments in their own words. Whenever students take an idea, or a passage from another author, they must acknowledge their debt both by using quotation marks where appropriate and by proper referencing such as footnotes or citations. Plagiarism is a major academic offence.

All assignments are individual assignments. You may discuss approaches to problems among yourselves; however, the actual details of the work (assignment coding, answers to concept questions, etc.) must be an individual effort.

Assignments that are judged to be the result of academic dishonesty will, for the student's first offence, be given a mark of zero with an additional penalty equal to the weight of the assignment also being applied.

Computer-marked multiple-choice tests and/or exams may be subject to submission for similarity review by software that will check for unusual coincidences in answer patterns that may indicate cheating.

Students are responsible for reading and respecting the Computer Science Department's policy on Scholastic Offences and Rules of Ethical Conduct.

Q: Tutoring

The role of tutoring is to help students understand course material. Tutors should not write assignments or tests for the students who hire them. Submitting an assignment that contains material written by a tutor is an academic offense.

Having employed the same tutor as another student is not a legitimate defense against an accusation of collusion, should two students hand in assignments judged similar beyond the possibility of coincidence.

R: Exam Schedule

S: Academic Accommodation for Medical Illness

If you are unable to meet a course requirement due to illness or other serious circumstances, you must provide valid medical or other supporting documentation to your Dean's office as soon as possible and contact your instructor immediately. It is the student's responsibility to make alternative arrangements with their instructor once the accommodation has been approved and the instructor has been informed. In the event of a missed final exam, a "Recommendation of Special Examination" form must be obtained from the Dean's office immediately. For further information, please see:

A student requiring academic accommodation due to illness should use the Student Medical Certificate when visiting an off-campus medical facility or request a Record's Release Form (located in the Dean's office) for visits to Student Health Services. The form can be found here:

T: Support Services

Learning-skills counsellors at the Student Development Centre ( are ready to help you improve your learning skills. They offer presentations on strategies for improving time management, multiple-choice exam preparation/writing, textbook reading, and more. Individual support is offered throughout the Fall/Winter terms in the drop-in Learning Help Centre, and year-round through individual counselling.

Students who are in emotional/mental distress should refer to Mental Health at Western ( for a complete list of options about how to obtain help.

Students may refer to for services provided by the USC.

Students may refer to for the Registrarial Services.

U: Student Evaluation