Hierarchical Coding of Binary Images

Yoav Cohen, Michael S. Landy, M. (Misha) Pavel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Quad trees are a compact hierarchical method of representation of images. In this paper, we explore a number of hierarchical image representations as applied to binary images, of which quadtrees are a single exemplar. We discuss quadtrees, binary trees, and an adaptive hierarchical method. Extending these methods into the third dimension of time results in several other methods. All of these methods are discussed in terms of time complexity, worst case and average compression of random images, and compression results on binary images derived from natural scenes. The results indicate that quadtrees are the most effective for two-dimensional images, but the adaptive algorithms are more effective for dynamic image sequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-298
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1985


  • Binary images
  • hierarchical coding
  • image coding
  • image compression
  • image processing
  • quadtrees

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Applied Mathematics


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