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# Everything you Wanted to Know About Watermarking: From Paper Marks to Hardware Protection

## Abstract and Figures

This article presents a detailed discussion of various aspects of watermarking technologies on applications ranging from the embedding of marks in the pictorial information on paper to hardware protection. Included in the present discussion are these general concepts: motivation for watermarking; analog versus digital watermarking; various applications of watermarking, such as paper marks, currency and postal stamps, multimedia, hardware protection and others; and security and performance metrics for evaluating a watermark.
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Everything You Want to Know About Watermarking:
From Paper Marks to Hardware Protection.
By Saraju P. Mohanty, Anirban Sengupta, Parthasarathy Guturu, and Elias Kougianos
This article presents a detailed discussion of various aspects of watermarking technologies on applications ranging
from the embedding of marks in the pictorial information on paper, to hardware protection. Included in the present
discussion are the general concepts, motivation for watermarking, analog versus digital watermarking, various
applications of watermarking such as paper marks, currency/postal stamps, multimedia, hardware protection etc.,
and security and performance metrics for evaluating a watermark.
1. WATERMARKING: WHAT IS IT AND WHY IS IT NEEDED?
A mark that is covertly inserted in an entity such as a paper document or a byte stream of an image/video is called a
watermark, where this secretly embedded mark represents the owner of an entity (refer to Fig. 1). The embedded
mark is expected to not degrade and to not disturb the given functionality, information, quality, or data related to
entity on which it is applied. In most cases, it is also expected to be imperceptible to human perception so that it
does not divert attention from the main entity. The watermark should, but does not necessarily need to, contain a
relation to the entity on which it is embedded [1, 2]. As depicted in Fig.2, popular watermarking entities are paper
documents, bank notes, currency, postage stamps, images, audio and video clips, computer programs, hardware
devices, and chips deployed in consumer electronics devices [3, 4]. Watermarks can be of two types: (a) regular or
analog watermarks, or (b) digital (forensic) watermarks. Regular watermarks have existed for centuries in various
forms, but digital watermarks came into existence in the last decade or so. Digital watermarks differ from regular
watermarks in terms of perceptibility to human senses; they are only perceptible to humans only after some logical
processing. In most cases, regular watermarks remain easily perceptible by humans and are difficult to remove or
tamper with [2] without degrading the entity.
FIGURE 1. Watermarks in banknotes/currencies.
Security
Ribbon and
Benjamin
Franklin
Bell inside
100’ numeral
‘1000’ numeral
Mahatma Gandhi,
Security Ribbon
Diamond symbol
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The term ‘watermarking’ refers to the process of embedding a hidden mark of an owner in an entity for resolving
any ownership conflicts that may arise. Thus, the main goal of a watermark is to protect a genuine owner against
illegal claims of ownership, illegal distribution of copyrighted works, piracy and forgery or theft. Creative entities,
irrespective of their complexity, have always been susceptible to theft and copyright infringement. Hence, formal
mechanisms are required to safeguard a genuine owner from external malicious attacks. It may be noted here that
watermarking does not aim to prevent malicious attacks such as infringements, illegal claims of ownership, piracy
etc., but provides a strong formal mechanism to track/detect such illegal activities and potentially identify the
perpetrators of such activities.
For the sake of clarity to the readers, this section presents a broad perspective of watermarking with a comparative
view of several related topics including steganography, cryptography, and digital rights management (DRM).
WATERMARKING VERSUS DIGITAL WATERMARKING
Watermarking has been in existence for several centuries owing to its simplified model, low cost, and robustness.
However, the advent of digital platforms rendered regular analog watermarking inadequate for protecting a genuine
owner from malicious threats in various application such as audio, video, image, and hardware applications. Digital
watermarking aims to hide a message (usually encoded in some form) into a digital signal without disturbing the
signal itself. The digital watermark (encoded through a message) is not perceptible to human senses and is
decodable only on application of some algorithm. However, regular watermarks are typically perceptible to human
senses. Embedding a digital watermark is usually quite complex and requires skilled engineering knowledge, while
regular watermarks are relatively easier to replicate.
WATERMARKING VERSUS STEGANOGRAPHY
Watermarking is used to verify the owner of an entity while steganography is a process of changing the entity in
such a way, that only the sender and intended recipient are able to understand the message embedded in it.
Sometimes steganographic codes are inside the transport layer such as an image file, document file, media files, etc.
Steganography is used to hide a message in a one-to-one communication. In contrast, watermarking does the same
during one-to-many communications. Similar to steganographic methods, digital watermarking methods hide
Various Entities for
Watermarking
Currency
Paper/Passport
Image Video
Audio
Hardware
Design
FIGURE 2. Various watermarking entities.
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information in digital media. The difference lies in the purpose of the hidden information watermarking pertains to
the digital medium itself and contains information about its author, its buyer, and the integrity of the content [5].
WATERMARKING VERSUS CRYPTOGRAPHY
The goal of cryptography is to secure the digital content being transferred over a medium. Watermarking, on the
other hand, attempts to secure the owner of the digital content (by proof of ownership) but not the digital content
itself. Cryptography is not capable of proving authenticity of the owner. Further, cryptography makes the message
being transferred undecipherable to a third party (unintended recipient) whereas watermarking is so secretly hidden
inside the content itself that the intended recipient as well as an attacker have no knowledge of how it is embedded
[6].
WATERMARKING VERSUS DIGITAL RIGHTS MANAGEMENT (DRM)
Unlike watermarking, DRM techniques do not attempt to protect the owner against false claims of ownership [7].
They aim to encrypt content in such a way as not to be directly accessible (e.g., copyright protection of digital
content). The purpose of DRM is to prevent unauthorized redistribution of digital media and restrict the ways
consumers can copy content they have purchased. A secret key to decrypt the content is securely passed to
authorized users, for access. Many believe that DRM techniques have failed because any content must ultimately be
converted to its visible/audible form, or analog form, for a human user to perceive. Thus, when the content is
reduced to an analog form, the DRM scheme of digital protection, such as encryption is removed. This is called the
Analog Hole. Steganography and audio/video watermarking address this problem.
As shown in Fig. 3, a digital watermark needs to have some additional desirable properties over a regular watermark
[8]:
(a) Detectability: A watermarked message in a signal/entity (image, audio, video, hardware etc.) must be
detectable to a knowledgeable user (who is aware of the encoding rules).
(b) Signal fidelity: Insertion of a digital watermark usually results in degradation of the signal/entity. This
degradation must be kept to a minimum. In some specific domains, this degradation must be zero, which
makes a digital watermark extremely difficult to embed.
(c) Payload size: The appropriate digital watermark depends on the size of the encoded message embedded into
the signal/entity. A large size watermark message may reduce the probability of co-incidence, however
concurrently increasing the probability of tampering.
(d) Robustness: A digital watermark must be difficult to detect by an adversary and must be fault tolerant in
nature i.e., partial removal of some bits of the encoded message should still enable identification of the
legal owner of the digital work. It must also be resistant to noise and malicious attacks.
(e) Embedding cost: A digital watermark must incur minimum design overhead in terms of resource area,
delay, and power. The implementation cost should be ideally zero.
Digital
Watermarking
Signal
fidelity
Detectability
Robustness
Embedding
cost
FIGURE 3. Desired properties of a digital watermark.
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3. TYPES OF REGULAR AND DIGITAL WATERMARKING
Watermarking can be of multiple types:
(a) Visible Watermarks: This type of watermark applies to visual signals such as images and videos (refer to
Fig. 4). They are transparent in nature and are imprinted onto the image. They are resistant to cropping the
central portion of the image. However, the negative aspect is that they cause degradation in the image
quality and allow detection through visible means (without any image processing).
(a) Original Image
(b) Visible Watermarked Images
(c) Invisible Watermarked Images
FIGURE 4. Visible and invisible watermarking of multimedia data [1].
(b) Invisible Watermarks: This type of watermark is not limited to images only. It has wide applicability to
many applications. A hidden encoded message (as the watermark) which is only detectable or visible by an
authorized entity through some logical processing is embedded into the data/signal/design. It allows tracing
copying/forgery and resolving false claims of ownership. However, the negative side is that it may impose
(c) Public Watermarks: These types of watermark are insecure as they can be retrieved by anyone through a
specific algorithm. However, they are sometimes used to transport intellectual property.
(d) Private Watermarks: This type of watermark is secured and can only be retrieved by a secret key.
(e) Perceptual Watermarks: This type of watermark is invisible and yet robust. It is based on exploiting
limitations of the human sensory systems.
(f) Bit-stream Watermark: This type of watermark is used for compressed data such as video.
4. WATERMARKING FOR DOCUMENTS (PAPER, PASSPORT, CURRENCY, AND
POSTAL STAMPS)
With the transition of the printing industry to digital platforms, the security of documents has become a major
challenge. Digital printing equipment enables users to deploy watermarking in varied environments, but it is a mixed
blessing because of the manifold increase in the chances of creation of counterfeit documents. Thus, with better
quality and high flexibility of digital platforms, vulnerability to security attacks also increases. Watermarking
mechanisms are successfully employed for protection of documents such as paper, bank notes, postal stamps and
passports which are all considered immensely valuable in official communications/transactions. In the case of such
documents, the inserted watermark is in the form of a picture/image faintly embedded behind the actual text of the
document [9, 10, 11]. Some of the properties of such a watermark are as follows:
The watermark may span the entire document or a certain area of the document.
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The watermark information embedded should, but does not have to, have a relationship with the actual text
of the document.
The watermark should not degrade or obscure the text of the document.
The watermark must be perceivable by the human eye.
The watermark must be a recognizable pattern that appears as shades of lightness/darkness when viewed
under light transmitted through the document (depending on the thickness of the paper).
The watermark may be visible by casual inspection or careful examination.
Authenticity must be recognizable to any user without much complexity.
Watermarks must not be prone to tampering or changes without disturbing the text.
The process of embedding a watermark in a document can be accomplished in two ways: (a) via the dandy roll
process, or (b) via the cylinder mold process. In the first method (shown in Fig.5), a watermark is created by
impressing a water coated metal stamp or dandy roll onto the paper during the manufacturing process. The dandy
roll is a light roller which is covered by a material similar to the one used in a window screen that is imprinted with
a pattern, i.e. a mesh like material with a specific design engraved. The still wet reel of paper (pulp) flows under the
dandy roll which then imprints by pressure on the paper the designed watermark. The imprint pattern on the dandy
roll is typically comprised of a laid wire that runs in parallel to the axis of the dandy roll, and a chain wire that runs
around the circumference of the roll. The laid wire imprints light marks on the wet paper while the chain wire
produces a strong imprint on the pulp while manufacturing [9, 10, 11].
The cylinder mold watermarking method, on the other hand, creates a light to dark shaded imprint resembling a 3D
image on the paper. This image is created by areas of relief on the roll itself. This watermarking process is extremely
complex, and makes the reproduction of watermarks very challenging, Specifically, the reproduction complexity of
watermarks produced by this method is due to the following reasons: (i) the extremely time consuming nature of the
process, (ii) the high degree of skill and resources required for watermark creation, and (iii) the requirement of
thorough knowledge about the process for creation of watermarks. However, when the costly equipment is available,
the process turns out to be simple yet robust. Hence, this process is very frequently used for watermarking of bank
notes/currencies, postal stamps and passports to protect the genuine owners/creators from counterfeits/forgery. An
example of watermark insertion in bank notes is shown in Fig. 1 [9, 10, 11].
FIGURE 5. Dandy roll watermarking process.
Watermarked paper
Wet Un-watermarked paper
Pulp
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5. DIGITAL WATERMARKING FOR MULTIMEDIA
Digital watermarking of multimedia objects is a process by which data (called ‘watermark’) is embedded into the
object such that at a later stage it can be detected or extracted for making an assertion about ownership. A
multimedia object can be audio or video clips, images, etc. The generic framework of a watermarking process of
multimedia objects comprises of four components: the watermark, the encoder, the decoder and the comparator.
There are two components in the watermarking process: i) watermarking insertion algorithm and encoder function,
and ii) watermark verification algorithm and decoder function to authenticate the actual owner.
FIGURE 6. Watermarking for multimedia objects
The encoder function (E) accepts an image (M), a watermark (W) and produces as an output a watermarked image
(M’). Thus, M’ = E (M, W). The watermark W is dependent on factors such as image size, image feature, identity
etc. As a part of a robust watermarking scheme, the decoder function is equally necessary for verification of the
actual owner of the multimedia object by resolving claims of ownership in case of conflicts. A decoder functional
module could be accomplished in two possible ways: (a) via extraction of the watermark in its original form, or (b)
via detection of the watermark location in the original signal/data. Both help in resolving the ownership problem.
Thus, the decoder function (D) accepts a test image (T) (which is either a watermarked image (M’) or a non-
watermarked image (M) or a corrupted image (C)), the original non-watermarked image (M) of (T) and yields as
output an extracted watermark image (W’). Thus W’ = D (T, M). The extracted watermark (W’) is compared with
the known watermark (W) which is a sequence of digits/bits embedded by the owner, using a comparator function
(Z). The output (Y) of the comparator indicates a ‘1’ if there is a match, else yields a ‘0’. Fig. 6 depicts this decoder
scheme of digital watermarking [2, 12].
5.1.HARDWARE BASED WATERMARKING SYSTEMS
Hardware based watermarking systems are quite different than software based watermarking schemes. Hardware
based watermarking systems can be developed in field programmable gate array (FPGA) emulation platforms,
digital signal processor (DSP) boards or application specific integrated circuits (ASIC). Hardware assisted
watermarking has also been implemented in graphical processing units (GPU). However, the choice between ASIC,
FPGA and GPU is dependent on trade-offs between power, hardware area, speed, and application requirements.
Further, the design and implementation of hardware based watermarking solutions are possible for images/videos
captured by CMOS image sensors. The watermarking and encoding of an image/video can be integrated into a
single system. The watermark system allows adaptation to real stream data with minimum degradation and
protection against attacks such as cropping and segment removal from a video sequence, etc. [1].
Encoder
(E)
Image
(M)
Watermark (W)
Image
(M’)
Decoder
(D)
Test
Image
(T)
Original image (M)
Extracted
Watermark
(W’)
Comparator
(Z)
W’
W
Y
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The datapath architecture and physical design of a watermarking chip are presented Fig. 7 [13, 14]. This
watermarking hardware can perform either visible or invisible watermarking depending on the user requirements.
The watermarking hardware is an energy-efficient design that can be integrated in any consumer electronics
hardware including digital camera, mobile phone, and TV setup box, but will have very minimal energy overhead on
them. As shown in Fig.7, modules such as DCT, random number generator and invisible insertion are used for
inserting invisible watermarks. The DCT module is used to calculate the DCT coefficients of the host image.
Subsequently, the random number is added to them by the insertion module. The modules involved in the visible
watermarking are DCT, edge detector responsible for determining the edge blocks of original image, perceptual
analyzer, and scaling and embedding module that takes in the visible watermark to be embedded into the
watermarked image.
An example of a consumer electronics system with built-in watermarking hardware for images is the secure digital
camera (SDC) [15, 16, 17]. Fig. 8 shows a generic system block diagram of a secure digital camera (SDC) with
encryption and watermarking units. It comprises of an active pixel sensor unit, a liquid crystal display (LCD),
memory, and encryption, compression and watermarking units. In this set-up, an image is captured through the
image sensor and is then converted into its digital counterpart through an analog-to-digital converter. The captured
image is stored in the memory unit from which it is subsequently displayed in the LCD unit. The image is displayed
in the LCD such that the user may see the image before watermarking is applied. Both visible and invisible
watermarking algorithms are used along with encryption and compression units for different purpose. The block
diagram of the SDC presented here is a generic one; it can be customized to suit the requirements of any specific
application.
FIGURE 8. Architecture of the Secure Digital Camera (SDC) with built-in capability for real-time
Digital Right Management (DRM) [17].
(a) Datapath architecture of an image watermarking chip.
(b) Layout of an image watermarking chip.
FIGURE 7. Hardware of chip for digital watermarking [14].
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Consumer electronics systems such as digital video recorders and smart phones with video recording capabilities can
provide content protected with some form of DRM features if video watermarking hardware is integrated in them
[18, 19]. A specific example of a video watermarking hardware architecture is presented in Fig. 9 [19, 20]. The
system architecture components include a frame buffer, discrete cosine transformation (DCT), inverse DCT (IDCT),
motion estimation (ME), zigzag scanning (ZZ), inverse zigzag scanning (IZZ), entropy coding, inverse entropy
coding (IE), quantization, inverse quantization (IQuan), motion compensation (MC), watermarking embedding
modules, and the controller. The video stream to be watermarked is not a sequence of independent frames as still
images are, but a sequence of correlated frames in the temporal mode, i.e., inter frames (P or B) predicted from the
intra frame. So, every object in the base intra frame is inherited by the predicted inter frames (P or B) such that the
watermark in intra frames appears in inter frames (P or B) even though they are not embedded with the watermark.
However, if it overlaps with any moving objects in the video scene, the watermark drifts around with the moving
objects. Drift compensation plays an important role to cancel this side effect and obtain a stable watermark in the
compressed video. The motion compensation (MC) module with reference frame and motion vectors, prediction
errors, rebuilds a new frame resembling the original one. If it is an intra frame, this block is skipped. The watermark
embedding IBP module embeds a watermark to every frame, I, B, P, sequentially; inter frames B and P have two
watermarks. One inherited from the intra frame, and one embedded by the component module. The one inherited is
the one drifting in inter frames (B and P). The watermark embedding block embeds a watermark to intra frames
only.
FIGURE 9. System architecture of MPEG video watermarking on compressed domain [20].
Watermarking in the framework of the Better Portable Graphics (BPG) image compression format is being explored
to ensure its use in the Internet of Things (IoT) [21]. BPG compression is specifically advantageous for real time and
low bandwidth applications due to the low size and high quality images produced which are limitations of the
widely used JPEG compression. The interesting characteristics of BPG that differentiate it from JPEG and make it
an excellent choice include the following: 1) BPG is open source. 2) high quality and lower size can meet modern
display requirements. 3) BPG compression is based on the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), which is a major
advance in compression techniques. 4) BPG is supported by most web browsers with a small Javascript decoder. 5)
BPG is close in spirit to JPEG and can offer lossless compression in the digital domain. 6) Different chroma formats
supported include grayscale, RGB, YCgCo, YCbCr, Non-premultiplied alpha, and Premultiplied alpha. 7) BPG uses
a range of metadata for efficient conversion including EXIF, ICC profile, and XMP.
5.2.SOFTWARE BASED WATERMARKING SYSTEMS
Both spatial and frequency domain methods can be used for embedding watermarks, but spatial domain methods are
more popular because they are less computationally expensive and easy to implement using software. However,
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cropping poses a serious threat to any spatial-domain watermarking scheme compared to a frequency domain
watermarking method. Hence, in some sophisticated applications, frequency domain methods are used for
embedding watermarks. Lossy compression operations that are typically performed in the frequency domain
achieve a high level of compression without significant signal degradation by eliminating perceptually non-salient
features of the multimedia object. The watermark is inserted in the significant frequency region, i.e. the low
frequency components of a multimedia object [1].
6. DIGITAL WATERMARKING FOR CHIP/HARDWARE PROTECTION
Intellectual Property (IP) core/hardware protection is a multi-faceted problem comprising of Trojan security, vendor
ownership security, buyer ownership security, transient fault security, security against IP piracy, and fault tolerance
[12, 22, 23] Vendor ownership security is a very frequent problem encountered as a part of IP core protection, and is
dealt through solutions such as watermarking. Digital watermarking for hardware design protection is an emerging
area of research which has gained prominence recently in the CAD/VLSI community. Watermarking has recently
been extended to provide protection against false claims of ownership and IP core piracy. Digital watermarking can
be embedded in different levels of hardware design abstraction based on the designer’s choice, where each level is
For the current generation of hardware design, multi-vendor IP core integration has become a mainstream practice as
it helps to achieve maximization of design productivity and minimization of design time. An IP core is a piece of
reusable design with many man years of investment. An IP core owner is entitled to legal ownership rights which
must be protected against false claims of ownership. Thus, embedding a digital watermark in the form of an encoded
message (owner’s sequence of digits) in the design is critical from the vendor’s perspective. Embedding a
watermark in hardware design (regardless of the level of abstraction) must satisfy several desirable properties such
as [24, 25]:
Must not be detectable through normal scan.
Must not be easily reverse engineered by an adversary who does not have full knowledge of the
encoding rules.
Must be fault-tolerant, i.e. it should have the ability to withstand minor tampering and indicate the
rightful owner.
Must yield minimal design overhead in terms of hardware area and delay.
Unlike multimedia objects, watermarking for hardware protection must have zero tolerance for
Must not even slightly alter the design functionality of the IP core.
Must have low implementation complexity during embedding as well as reverse engineering for a
genuine user.
Must be robust against standard attacks.
A watermark for an IP core protection is performed by embedding a vendor signature (in the form of encoded digits)
in any one or a combination of design steps. One of the specific embodiments of watermarking is deployment for IP
protection by embedding vendor signature during high level synthesis (i.e., at higher abstraction layers). The register
allocation phase during high level synthesis is a step where the vendor signature can be embedded as extra
constraints such that storage variables are forced to execute through distinct registers (based on the encoding rule).
However, it should not result in much storage overhead and schedule delay. Multi-variable signature encoding based
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digital watermarking is considered more robust due to the involvement of more than two encoding variables
resulting in difficulty of reverse engineering by an adversary. Embedding the watermark at a higher abstraction level
provides flexibility to choose an optimal design candidate solution (through design space exploration) which
minimizes the design overhead. Further, the watermark may be embedded in register transfer level (RTL) designs in
the form of dummy gates/blocks etc., without disturbing the functionality of the design, as well as at the FPGA level
in the form of bitstreams. Moreover, watermarking can be also embedded in the layout file of the design for owner
protection. Thus, a robust digital watermark can act as a final line of defense against external threats such as piracy,
tampering, false claim of ownership etc. Watermark insertion during any of the design stages of chip design is
shown in Fig. 10.
FIGURE 10. Watermark (W) insertion during any of the different stages of Hardware Design.
For the successful resolution of ownership conflict/IP piracy through digital watermarks, signature detection is
an essential step. Signature detection comprises of reverse engineering and signature verification. Reverse
engineering comprises of collecting structural information of the design and re-generating the design till a certain
step (say datapath schematic). Signature verification comprises of decoding the signature to regenerate the additional
constraints (watermark). This is followed by verifying the presence of these additional watermarking constraints in
the reverse engineered design. An overview is shown in Fig. 11 [25].
Reverse
Engineering
Signature
verification
IP core design
(HDL)
Decoding Vendor
signature
Datapath
Schematic
Conversion to
watermark constraints
IP Owner?
FIGURE 11. Signature detection process for watermarks.
W
W
W
Integration/
Transformation
Scheduling
Allocation
(Module and
Registers)
Binding
Datapath
and
Controller
RTL
Design
FPGA
bitstream
Floorplan
Placement
Routing
Layout
Fabrication
W
W
W
W
W
Higher abstraction level Architecture
design
Lower abstraction level- Physical design
Mid abstraction level RTL
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7. SECURITY AND PERFORMANCE METRICS OF DIGITAL WATERMARKING
Some of the popular security and performance metrics used for evaluating a watermarking algorithm are as follows
[25]:
(a) Probability of Co-incidence: This metric indicates the proof of ownership/authorship, i.e. the
strength/quality of a digital watermark. It is measured as the probability of generating the same solution
with owner signature. This metric is lower for large values of watermark signature/strong watermark. The
larger the size of the signature digits/encoded message, the lower the value of probability of co-incidence
will be
(b) Probability of Tampering: This metric also indicates the proof of ownership/authorship. It measures the
probability of removing one or more signature digits of an encoded message. The probability of tampering
increases with the increase in watermark strength (i.e. increase in signature digits/encoded message
sequence).
(c) Embedding Cost: Probability of co-incidence and probability of tampering are orthogonal in nature. This
is because to have a desirable low probability of co-incidence, a large size watermark is required; however,
that increases the probability of tampering which is undesirable. Thus, there needs to be a tradeoff. Further,
increase in watermark strength although it makes the data/signal/design robust (which is desirable),
concurrently also increases the likelihood of overhead/degradation of quality (which is undesirable). Thus,
there needs to be a tradeoff again in this case.
(d) Watermark Embedding Time and Watermark Detection Time: The complexity of adding the
watermark should not yield a high time complexity/runtime overhead. It should be seamlessly adaptable to
the data without disturbing its content. Similarly, the watermark detection time should be very low such
that for a knowledgeable entity decoding and verifying the signature should be smooth.
8. CONCLUSIONS
An all-inclusive view of watermarking is described in this paper including its background, motivation, classification
techniques as well as various relevant applications. This paper presented a holistic view of watermarks used in
various applications of our everyday life ranging from paper marks, currency/postal stamps, multimedia, to
hardware protection. Further, desirable watermarking properties, a comparative analysis of regular and digital
watermarks, and security metrics (such as probability of co-incidence and probability of tampering) were discussed.
The paper provides an insight into watermarking approaches used in real life today. More explicitly, it emphasizes
the deep relevance of watermarking in various domains ranging from mechanical, electrical to computer engineering
applications. The future evolution of watermarking lies in improving robustness, overhead, runtime complexity and
security models for quality evaluation. Watermarking usage for verification of data trustworthiness can be important
for emerging IoT and bigdata frameworks [22]. Watermarking integrated in the sensor nodes for critical applications
to ensure that the data received at remote ends is trustworthy is one of the emerging applications [26].
Saraju P. Mohanty (saraju.mohanty@unt.edu) is a Professor at the Department of Computer Science and
Engineering, University of North Texas. He is an inventor of 4 US patents. He is an author of 220 peer-reviewed
research articles and 3 books. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief (EiC) of the IEEE Consumer Electronics
Magazine. He currently serves on the editorial board of 6 peer-reviewed international journals including IEEE
Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems and ACM Journal on Emerging
Technologies in Computing Systems. Prof. Mohanty has been the Chair of Technical Committee on Very Large
Scale Integration (TCVLSI), IEEE Computer Society (IEEE-CS) to oversee a dozen of IEEE conferences. He serves
on the steering, organizing, and program committees of several international conferences. More about him can be
available from: http://www.smohanty.org.
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Anirban Sengupta (asengupt@iiti.ac.in) is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Engineering at Indian
Institute of Technology Indore, where he directs the research lab on ‘Behavioural Synthesis of Digital IP core. His
research projects are funded & supported by government agencies and industries. He is an author/inventor of more
than 100 Publications & Patents and Honorary Chief Scientist at VividSparks IT Solutions Pvt Ltd. He currently
serves in Editorial positions of 8 IEEE, Elsevier, & IET Journals as Editor, Executive Editor, Associate Editor,
Columnist and Guest Editor. He serves as Guest Editor of IEEE Transactions on VLSI Systems, IEEE Transactions
on Consumer Electronics and IEEE Access Journals. He is further serving as Editor of Elsevier Microelectronics
Journal, Associate Editor of IET Computer & Digital Techniques, Executive Editor & Columnist of IEEE Consumer
Electronics Magazine, Associate Editor of IEEE VLSI Circuits & Systems Letter (VCAL) and Associate Editor of
IEEE Access Journal. More about him can be available from: http://www.iiti.ac.in/~asengupt.
Parthasarathy Guturu (Parthasarathy.Guturu@unt.edu) is an Associate Professor in Electrical Engineering at the
University of North Texas. He obtained a Ph.D. (Engineering) in Pattern Recognition- all from Indian Institute of
Technology, Kharagpur. He published over 50 papers in international journals and conferences in the areas of
Pattern Recognition, Computer Vision/Image Processing, Artificial Intelligence, and Neural Networks/Genetic
Algorithms. He contributed to the areas of Intelligent Networks and 3G Wireless Systems and holds 3 patents.
Elias Kougianos (eliask@unt.edu) is Professor in Electrical Engineering Technology at the University of North
Texas. He obtained his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Louisiana State University in 1997. He is author or co-
author of over 100 peer-reviewed journal and conference publications. He is a Senior Member of IEEE.
REFERENCES
[1] S. P. Mohanty, “ISWAR: An Imaging System with Watermarking and Attack Resilience”, The Computing Research Repository (CoRR),
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[2] G. Voyatzis, Ioannis Pitas “The Use of Watermarks in the Protection of Digital Multimedia Products”, Proceedings of the IEEE, Vol. 87,
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[3] Peter Corcoran and Claudia Costache, “Biometric Technology and Smartphones: A consideration of the practicalities of a broad adoption of
biometrics and the likely impacts”, IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine, Volume: 5, Issue: 2, pp. 70 78, 2016.
[4] Jeff Yurek Ultra High Definition: Beyond pixel count, IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine, Volume: 4, Issue: 4, pp. 89 - 91, 2015.
[5] C. H. Lu, Multimedia Security: Steganography and Digital Watermarking Techniques for Protection of Intellectual Property, 1st Ed.: Idea
Group Publishing, 2005.
[6] Ingemar J. Cox, Gwenaël Doërr, Teddy Furon, “Watermarking Is Not Cryptography”, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer,
Volume 4283, 2006, pp 1-15.
[7] B. Norris and M. Humphries, Digital Rights Management, http://www.drm.web.unc.edu/what-is-drm/, Accessed on Oct 2016.
[8] R. Chandramouli, Nasir Memon, Majid Rabbani “Digital Watermarking, Encyclopedia of Imaging Science and Technology, JAN 2002,
DOI: 10.1002/0471443395.img010.
[9] J. C. Biermann, Handbook of Pulping and Papermaking (2ed.), San Diego, California, USA: Academic Press., ISBN 0-12-097362-6, 1996.
[10] Johnson Dandy, Dandy Roll, http://www.johnstondandy.com/dandyrolls.html, Accessed on September 2016.
[11] Kin-ya Hiyoshi, Takayuki Fukuchi, Tadahiro Iwasaki, Method of producing watermark paper”, US Patent 5766416A, 1998.
[12] S. P. Mohanty, Nanoelectronic Mixed-Signal System Design, McGraw-Hill, 2015, ISBN-10: 0071825711, ISBN-13: 978-0071825719.
[13] E. Kougianos, S. P. Mohanty, and R. N. Mahapatra, “Hardware Assisted Watermarking for Multimedia”, Elsevier International Journal on
Computers and Electrical Engineering, Volume 35, Issue 2, March, 2009, pp. 339-358.
[14] S. P. Mohanty, N. Ranganathan, and K. Balakrishnan, “A Dual Voltage-Frequency VLSI Chip for Image Watermarking in DCT Domain”,
IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II (TCAS-II), Vol. 53, No. 5, May 2006, pp. 394-398.
[15] S. P. Mohanty, “A Secure Digital Camera Architecture for Integrated Real-Time Digital Rights Management”, Elsevier Journal of Systems
Architecture, Volume 55, Issues 10-12, December 2009, pp. 468-480.
[16] Thomas Winkler, Adam Erdelyi, and Bernhard Rinner, “TrustEYE M4: Protecting the Sensor--not the Camera”, in Proceedings of the
International Conference on Advanced Video and Signal Based Surveillance, 2014.
[17] O. B. Adamo, S. P. Mohanty, E. Kougianos, and M. Varanasi, VLSI Architecture for Encryption and Watermarking Units Towards the
Making of a Secure Digital Camera”, in Proceedings of the IEEE International SOC Conference (SOCC), pp. 141-144, 2006.
[18] S. D. Roy, X. Li, Y. Shoshan, A. Fish, and O. Yadid-Pecht, “Hardware Implementation of a Digital Watermarking System for Video
Authentication”, IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology, 23 (2): 289301, 2013.
[19] S. P. Mohanty and E. Kougianos, “Real-Time Perceptual Watermarking Architectures for Video Broadcasting”, Elsevier Journal of Systems
and Software (JSS), Vol. 84, No. 5, May 2011, pp. 724--738.
[20] S. P. Mohanty, E. Kougianos, Wei Cai, and M. Ratnani, “VLSI Architectures of Perceptual Based Video Watermarking for Real -Time
Copyright Protection”, in Proceedings of the 10th International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design (ISQED), pp. 527-534, 2009.
[21] E. Kougianos, S. P. Mohanty, G. Coelho, U. Albalawi, and P. Sundaravadivel, Design of a High-Performance System for Secure Image
Communication in the Internet of Things (Invited Paper)”, IEEE Access Journal, Volume 4, 2016, pp. 1222--1242.
[22] S. P. Mohanty, U. Choppali, and E. Kougianos, “Everything You wanted to Know about Smart Cities”, IEEE Consumer Electronics
Magazine, Vol. 6, Issue 3, July 2016, pp. 60--70.
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[23] A. Sengupta, S. Bhadauria, and S. P. Mohanty, “TL-HLS: Methodology for Low Cost Hardware Trojan Security Aware Scheduling with
Optimal Loop Unrolling Factor during High Level Synthesis”, IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and
Systems (TCAD), Volume 99, Issue 99, 2016, pp. Accepted on 24 July 2016.
[24] A. Sengupta, S. Bhadauria, IP core Protection of CDFGs using Robust Watermarking during Behavioral Synthesis Based on User
Resource Constraint and Loop Unrolling Factor”, IET Electronics Letters, Vol. 52 No. 6 pp. 439-441, March 2016.
[25] A. Sengupta, S. Bhadauria, “Exploring Low Cost Optimal Watermark for Reusable IP Cores during High Level Synthesis”, IEEE Access
Journal, Volume:4, Issue: 99, pp. 2198 - 2215, May 2016.
[26] M. L. Rajaram, E. Kougianos, S. P. Mohanty, and U. Choppali, “Wireless Sensor Network Simulation Frameworks: A Tutorial Review”,
IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine (CEM), Volume 6, Issue 2, April 2016, pp. 63--69.
... This has resulted in increase of both intentional and unintentional attacks on copyrighted digitized data. Recent studies [3], [4] reveal that unauthorized use of medical data is increasing on daily basis. ...
... In Eq. 6 I (m, n) is the original image and I w (m, n) is the watermarked of size M ×N , respectively. The formula for the VOLUME 9, 2021 PSNR using MSE is given in Eq. 7. The PSNR is measured in decibels (dB) [4]. ...
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This work presents a robust watermarking technique in hybrid domain for the copyright claim of medical images. The scheme is a fusion of three popular transforms: Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT), Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) and Singular Value Decomposition (SVD). The input image is first separated into region of interest (ROI) and region of non-interest (RONI). The DWT is applied on RONI to get low and high frequency bands. The low frequency band is then segmented into $4\times 4$ blocks. The Human Visual System (HVS) is applied to select the potential blocks for implanting watermark content. Each $4\times 4$ selected block is further subdivided into four $2\times 2$ carrier matrices. The SVD is applied to each carrier matrix. Finally, the hidden information is implanted by altering the largest diagonal singular values of four $2\times 2$ matrices. The technique is blind, so host image is not needed for the extraction of hidden information. The proposed scheme achieves higher values of imperceptibility as well as robustness. Experimental results reveal that the proposed technique outperforms the techniques currently reported in the literature by achieving higher values of imperceptibility in the form of PSNR with value of 44.0567 decibels (dB) and SSIM value of 0.9800. At the same time it achieves excellent values of robustness with maximum NCC value of 1.000 and minimum BER with value of 0.000.
... media [4]. In most cases, watermarking algorithm enhances the basic factors such as invisibility, embedding capacity, and robustness, which is difficult to balance them [5,6]. Recently, nature inspired optimization algorithms are used to balance the relationship between invisibility and robustness [7]. ...
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To protect the copyright of the digital media, a robust watermarking algorithm based on image fusion, integer wavelet transform (IWT)-singular value decomposition (SVD) and hybrid of optimization scheme is developed. The algorithm considers IWT to decompose the carrier image into non-overlapping sub-bands, and then SVD is performed on lower frequency sub-bands to compute the singular matrices. Further, the algorithm utilizes the stationary wavelet transform (SWT) to decompose the multi-focus images into several sub-bands, and obtain the fused image as mark image. To provide the solution of false positive problem (FPP), we conceal principal component (PC) of the fused mark the carrier image with optimal embedding factor. Prior to this, fusion of Firefly and PSO optimization scheme is used to determine the embedding strength, which provide a good relationship between robustness and quality. Experimental demonstration shows that compared with the traditional algorithms, robustness of the proposed algorithm is significantly improved.
... The primary application of digital watermarking is for the authentication of digital assets, however, the process also has uses for licences and identification [30], digital forensics [9], and data protection in smart cities [22,58]. Digital watermarking is not only useful for marking images and documents, but also for real-time audios and videos [33,40], languages [1], as well as chip and hardware protection in electronics [63]. ...
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Data hiding is the process of embedding information into a noise-tolerant signal such as a piece of audio, video, or image. Digital watermarking is a form of data hiding where identifying data is robustly embedded so that it can resist tampering and be used to identify the original owners of the media. Steganography, another form of data hiding, embeds data for the purpose of secure and secret communication. This survey summarises recent developments in deep learning techniques for data hiding for the purposes of watermarking and steganography, categorising them based on model architectures and noise injection methods. The objective functions, evaluation metrics, and datasets used for training these data hiding models are comprehensively summarised. Finally, we propose and discuss possible future directions for research into deep data hiding techniques.
... These processes are illustrated in Figure 1. [19]. ...
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Information security is considered one of the most important issues in various infrastruc-tures related to the field of data communication where most of the modern studies focus on finding effective and low-weight secure approaches. Digital watermarking is a trend in security techniques that hides data by using data embedding and data extraction processes. Watermarking technology is integrated into different frames without adding an overheard as in the conventional encryption. Therefore, it is efficient to be used in data encryption for applications that run over limited resources such as the Internet of Things (IoT). In this paper, different digital watermarking algorithms and approaches are presented. Additionally, watermarking requirements and challenges are illustrated in detail. Moreover, the common architecture of the watermarking system is described. Furthermore , IoT technology and its challenges are highlighted. Finally, the paper provides the motivations , objectives and applications of the recent secure watermarking techniques in IoT and summa-rises them into one table. In addition, the paper highlights the potential to apply the modified watermark algorithms to secure IoT networks.
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Chapter
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