University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Multimedia Signal Representation and Coding

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


DEPARTMENT Communications and Computer Engineering

DESCRIPTION Multimedia content accounts for most of the data transmitted on today’s wired and wireless networks. This study-unit provides an introduction to standards used in multimedia communications. It gives an overview on how multimedia information is represented, transmitted and stored. It also introduces common data compression techniques used in audio, image, and video storage and transmission.

Study-unit aims:

This study-unit introduces techniques used to represent different types of data, including text, audio, image, and video. It also provides basic knowledge of information theory and how this relates to data compression. Basics of statistical encoding schemes, dictionary-based coding schemes, and predictive coding methods will be covered. Moreover, this study-unit introduces principles of coding standards for the different types of data.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

• Establish the appropriate representation for text, audio, image and video;
• Justify the need for standards and identify which one applies to the particular scenario;
• Discuss different coding schemes;
• Compare different coding methods.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

• Choose the standard needed for the data representation and coding of a particular type of data;
• Implement basic compression algorithms;
• Judge the effectiveness of a coding technique.


• 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 Lectures, Practical and Tutorials

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.
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