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Progressive transmission schemes prioritize the code bits often according to their reduction in distortion, and a major objective in this context is to select the most important information—which yields the largest distortion reduction—to be transmitted first. The distortion may be a squared-error distortion measure or some more realistic psychovisual metric. The rational embedded wavelet image coding addresses the problem of SOT selection in the context of embedded image coding for progressive transmission. It extends the set partitioning in hierarchical trees to consider the ordering of the trees, such that at every time instance, it always chooses the tree that provides the maximum expected increase in utility per coding bit. In any case, since the quality of the reconstructions at different bit rates strongly depends on the visual distinctness of the perceived data, the information selected to be transmitted first by any prioritization scheme at each truncation time should achieve the largest visual distinctness for still-to-be-transmitted data.
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