This chapter presents the fundamental concepts behind image compression. Images contain an enormous amount of data that must be stored and manipulated. Image compression is based upon the removal of any redundant data that may be present within an image. This chapter is divided into three sections. The first section presents the fundamentals of image compression, giving the background required to understand the next two sections. The second section discusses error-free image compression and is based upon compressing an image so that when it is uncompressed, the original image is obtained. The final section discusses lossy compression methods, which use information about the visual limitations of the human eye to remove information that will not be noticeable from an image. Uncompression of a lossy compressed image does not yield the original image but a slightly degraded version of it.
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