While it is true that the capacity of modern digital storage media is also growing, it will simply be unable to keep pace with the rising flood of digital data. The data therefore needs to be compressed using a special set of computational rules (‘data compression algorithms’) so that it can be stored more efficiently. Common compression methods currently in use, such as JPEG for photos or MPEG4 for videos, reduce the data volume by storing visually less relevant information less precisely or even simply eliminating it. Up until now this has been done in the frequency domain. Just as audio signals can be considered to be composed of different frequencies, optical images can be treated as two-dimensional signals that can be decomposed into individual frequencies. If the compression process is successful, the observer should barely be able to distinguish the compressed image from the original. However, these techniques have …
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