Compression Algorithms for Real Programmers (Paperback)

Peter Wayner

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In life, time is money, and on the Internet, the size of data is money. Small programs and small files take less disk space and cost less to send over the Internet. Compression Algorithms for Real Programmers describes the basic algorithms and approaches for compressing information so you can create the smallest files possible. These new algorithms are making it possible for people to take impossibly large audio and video files and compress them enough that they can flow over the Internet.


  • Examines the classic algorithms like Huffman coding, arithmetic compression, and dictionary-based schemes in depth
  • Describes the basic approaches used to squeeze audio and video signals by factors of as much as 100:1
  • Discusses the philosophy of compression to illustrate the underlying trade-offs in the algorithms
  • Explores the use of wavelets and other modeling techniques that use repetitive functions to squeeze audio and video
  • Shows how programming solutions like Adobe PostScript can save space and make networks more efficient
  • Describes new approaches using fractals and grammars just being explored by the compression community
  • Shows how to extend the algorithms and use them for copyright protection


Peter Wayner is the author of seven other books published by Adademic Press and Morgan Kaufmann, including Digital Cash: Commerce on the Net (AP Professional, 1997), Digital Copyright Protection(AP Professional, 1997), Disappearing Cryptography: Being and Nothingness on the Net (AP Professional, 1997), and Agents Unleashed: A Public Domain Look at Agent Technology (AP Professional, 1995). His work has appeared in BYTE magazine, the New York Times and Salon. Formerly a teacher of various computer science courses at Cornell University and Georgetown University, he now lives and writes in Baltimore MD.

Table of Contents:

Book Notes
1. Introduction
2. Statistical Basics
3. Dictionary Techniques
4. Arithmetic Compression
5. Adaptive Compression
6. Grammar Compression
7. Programmatic Solutions
8. Quantization
9. Wavelet Transforms
10. JPEG
11. Video Compression
12. Audio Compression
13. Fractal Compression
14. Steganography
Appendix A: Patents
Appendix B: Bibliography

Related Titles:

Software Engineering & Programming
For Real Programmers