University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
UOM Main Page
Apply - Admissions 2016
Campus Map button


TITLE Multimedia Signal Representation and Coding

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Communications and Computer Engineering

DESCRIPTION - Introduction

- Multimedia Representation
    - Text Representation
        - ASCII, Unicode, UTF-8
    - Audio Representation
        - Human Sound Production System
        - Human Auditory System and limitations
        - Input and Output Transducers
    - Image and Video Representation
        - Human Vision System and limitations
        - Input and Output Transducers
    - Sampling, Quantization and Coding (PCM) and Companding

- Multimedia Coding
    - Introduction to Data Compression
    - Information Theory
    - Statistical Coding
        - Shannon-Fano Coding
        - Huffman Coding
        - Extended Huffman Coding
        - Arithmetic Coding
    - Dictionary Based Coding
        - LZ77
        - LZ78
        - LZW
    - Audio Coding
        - Speech Coding
            - PCM
            - Differential PCM (DPCM)
            - Adaptive DPCM (ADPCM)
            - Predictive Coding
            - Linear Predictive Coding (LPC)
        - Music Compression
            - Perceptual audio coding
            - Sub-Band Coding
            - Overview of MP3 compression
    - Lossless Image Coding
        - Bi-Level
        - Reflected Gray Codes
        - Predictive Coding
        - Lossless JPEG
        - Dictionary-Based Coding
            - GIF
    - Lossy Image Coding
        - Distortion Measures
        - Transform Coding
        - JPEG
    - Video Coding (lossy)
        - Video Coding Concepts
        - The Hybrid DPCM/DCT algorithm
        - Motion Compensated Prediction
        - Standards: H.261, MPEG-1,2,4


- Understand the importance of multimedia;
- Understand how text, audio, image and video information can be represented digitally in a computer, so that it can be processed, transmitted and stored efficiently;
- Understand the possibility and limitations of multimedia data compression;
- Gain a basic understanding of Information Theory which underpins multimedia data compression;
- Understand statistical coding techniques including Huffman Coding and Arithmetic Coding and compare the two classes of techniques;
- Understand the basics of dictionary based coding techniques including LZ77, LZ78 and LZW algorithms;
- Understand the basic audio coding techniques including predictive coding and more advanced techniques based around Linear Predictive Coding, Sub-Band Coding and MP3 compression;
- Understand bi-level image lossless coding techniques and how these can be extended to code grayscale images and colour images;
- Understand GIF and JPEG lossless coding techniques;
- Understand lossy image coding techniques based around Transform Coding as found in the JPEG standard;
- Understand video coding techniques based around spatial and temporal redundancy reduction, especially temporal DPCM, spatial DCT and hybrid schemes;
- Understand Motion Estimation and Motion Compensated Prediction as used in video compression;
- Understand the basic principles of H.261 and MPEG-1,2,4 video coding standards.


- Ze-Nian Li & Mark Drew, “Fundamentals of Multimedia”, Prentice Hall, 2004.

Recommended Reading:

- Yun Q. Shi, Huifang Sun, “Image and Video Compression for Multimedia Engineering: Fundamentals, Algorithms, and Standards”, CRC Press.
- Other books to be announced.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Tutorial and Practical

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Practical No 20%
Examination (2 Hours) Yes 80%

LECTURER/S Terence Zarb

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
Study-unit Registration Forms 2017/8


For Undergraduate (Day) and Postgraduate students.


Faculty of ICT Timetables


ICT Timetables are available from Here.

Health and Safety Regulations for Laboratories Form

The Faculty of ICT Health and Safety Regulations for Laboratories form can be found here


13th Edition of EY’s Annual Attractiveness Event




The 13th Edition of EY’s Annual Attractiveness event will be held on 25th October 2017 at the InterContinental Hotel,

St. Julians. It is titled "Thinking without the box: disruption, technology and FDI".


The  students' invitation and more information can be found here

The conference programme can be found here



Log In back to UoM Homepage