Compression Methods for Multimedia

Module code: CO3096

Data compression is about finding novel ways of representing data so that it takes very little storage, with the proviso that it should be possible to reconstruct the original data from the compressed version. Compression is essential when storage space is at a premium or when data needs to be transmitted and bandwidth is at a premium (which is almost always).

The first thing that one learns about compression is that it is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach: the essence of compression is to determine characteristics of the data that you are trying to compress (typically you’ll be looking for patterns that you can exploit to get a compact representation). This gives rise to a variety of data modelling and representation techniques, which are at the heart of compression. The convergence of the communications, computing and entertainment industries has made data compression a part of everyday life (think MP3, DVD and Digital TV) and has thrown up a number of exciting new opportunities for new applications of compression technologies.


  • 33 hours of lectures
  • 5 hours of seminars
  • 5 hours of tutorials
  • 157 hours of guided independent study


  • Coursework re-assessment by exam, 2 hours (50%)
  • Exam, 2 hours (50%)