We develop a progressive image transmission technique based on a prediction/residual encoding approach in which the predictive and residual image components are both progressively encoded. The predictive component is taken to be an interpolative representation of the image and is progressively transmitted first. The goal of this first stage is to transmit a "recognizable" image with the fewest possible data so that the user has the opportunity to terminate the transmission if the image is not the desired one. However, if the user decides to retain the image, the second stage follows, in which the residual component is progressively transmitted to refine the image quality. Specifically, the Knowlton hierarchy is used to transmit the predictive component, and a tree-structured vector quantizer hierarchy is used to transmit the residual component. Subject terms: digital image coding; progressive transmission; hierarchical coding structures; vector quantization.