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2 dimensional compression

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I was thinking earlier, what about 2 dimensional image compression? Where instead of looking for patterns in a linear array of bits, it looks for patterns in a 2 dimensional way? For example, you have the letter A repeated over and over again in a bitmap. Instead of recognising a pattern for each row, it recognises the pattern for the letter A. The only way I could concieve this would be to check each row for a pattern, then check the other rows for this pattern. Then it goes down, row by row until they are no longer the same. Has this been before? Would it be far too slow? Im very interested in this.

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Compression techniques using Fourier or wavelet transforms already work in 2D.

Other techniques encode the difference between two lines instead of the lines themselves (i.e. (a, b-a, c-b, d-c) instead of (a,b,c,d)) to increase the chances of having long runs of zeros.

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I guess thats how it goes, you think you have something new but it's already been done 10x times better. Ah well.

Thanks for the information, though once I see the sigma symbol, I know I am in over my head. What other types of compression are there? I have been eating meat and potatoes LZ my whole life, I never knew this kind of thing existed.

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