The basis of this proposal lies in the intersection between multi-user Information Theory and Information Hiding. Due to the dramatic increase in the use of digital data, its availability in the Internet and the ease at which data can be copied and stored, there is increased interest in data hiding schemes in their various applications, as reflected in the growing number of papers describing watermarking (WM) schemes and the emerging standards for practical systems. Watermarking is a form of hiding information in a host data set (cover text), usually an image, audio signal, or video. There is a variety of applications for data hiding, ranging from classical steganography, provision of copyright protection, data authentication and copy control information.
Under standing multi-user Information Theory has remained the holy grail of Information Theory: Even the simplest settings have largely uncharacterized capacity regions. Multi-user Information Theory concerns analysis of efficient and reliable communication in multi-terminal settings. This field has recently attracted renewed attention because of key developments, both on the technological and theoretical levels that have given rise to a rich set of challenging research problems. The proposed research is aimed at achieving a better understanding of the underlying multi-user-information theoretic problems with application to Information Hiding systems and their solutions, and analysing communication scenarios having elements such as side information (SI) pertaining to information hiding.
The accomplishment of this objective requires multidisciplinary research in the emerging field of multi-user information theory, which is on the border of information theory, communication theory, networking, computer science, and probability theory. The proposer's previous work on information-theoretic analysis of watermarking systems has set the ground for this proposal, which is a pioneering field of research.
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