# Digital Communication Principles Using MATLAB: PCM and DPCM Techniques

August 14, 2024
Maysarah Saleh
UAE
Digital Communication
Maysarah Saleh has over 15 years of experience in digital communication systems and MATLAB programming. He earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Sharjah, UAE.

Digital communication systems are foundational in modern technology, and understanding their principles is crucial for students pursuing studies in this field. One practical way to grasp these concepts is by applying them to real-world data, such as images. In this guide, we will outline the steps to approach a project involving digital communication principles using MATLAB, focusing on techniques like Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) and Differential Pulse Code Modulation (DPCM). This guide is designed to help students in solving their Matlab assignment, emphasizing the thought process and methodology rather than specific solutions.

## 1. Understanding the Problem

Before diving into MATLAB, it's essential to understand the objectives of the assignment. Typically, such projects aim to:

• Demonstrate the application of digital communication techniques.
• Analyze the impact of these techniques on data (like images).
• Enhance skills in signal processing and MATLAB programming.

In our example, the task involves working with the Lena image, a standard test image in the field of image processing. The goals include reading the image, analyzing its properties, and applying PCM and DPCM techniques.

## 2. Reading and Analyzing the Image

• Read the Image: Use MATLAB's imread function to load the image into the workspace. Understanding the dimensions (size) and bit-depth (bits per pixel) of the image is crucial, as these determine the amount of data and how it can be manipulated.
• Analyze Image Properties:
• Size of the Image: Use the size function to find out the dimensions of the image.
• Bits per Pixel: Determine the number of bits used to represent each pixel, which influences the image's color depth and quality.
• Pixel Value Range: Understanding the range of pixel values helps in subsequent processing steps like quantization.

MATLAB Commands:

 image = imread('lena.png'); imageSize = size(image); bitsPerPixel = 8; % Typical for standard RGB images pixelRange = [min(image(:)), max(image(:))]; 

## 3. Transforming the Image

• RGB to YCbCr Conversion: The transformation from RGB to YCbCr color space is common in image processing as it separates luminance (Y) from chrominance (Cb and Cr), which is beneficial for compression techniques like PCM and DPCM.
• MATLAB Implementation: You can use the rgb2ycbcr function if you have access to the Image Processing Toolbox, or manually perform the conversion using the transformation matrix provided in the assignment.
 ycbcrImage = rgb2ycbcr(image); % If toolbox is available % Manual conversion rgbImage = double(image); A = [65.481 -37.797 112; 128.553 -74.203 -93.786; 24.966 112 -18.214]; ycbcrImage = reshape(rgbImage, [], 3) * A'; ycbcrImage(:, 1) = ycbcrImage(:, 1) + 16; ycbcrImage(:, 2:3) = ycbcrImage(:, 2:3) + 128; ycbcrImage = reshape(uint8(ycbcrImage), size(image)); 

## 4. Applying PCM

Pulse Code Modulation (PCM): This technique involves quantizing the luminance channel (Y) of the YCbCr image. Quantization reduces the number of bits per pixel, which helps in compressing the image but also affects the quality.

### Steps:

• Quantize the Y Channel: Adjust the pixel values to fit into a limited number of quantization levels (e.g., 16 levels corresponding to 4 bits per pixel).
• Calculate Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR): Compare the original and quantized images to assess the loss in quality due to quantization.

MATLAB Example:

 numLevels = 16; % For 4 bits/pixel Y = double(ycbcrImage(:, :, 1)); quantizedY = round(Y * (numLevels - 1) / 255) * (255 / (numLevels - 1)); SNR = snr(Y(:), Y(:) - quantizedY(:)); 

## 5. Applying DPCM

Differential Pulse Code Modulation (DPCM): DPCM involves encoding the difference between successive samples (or pixels) rather than the samples themselves, which can be more efficient for certain types of data.

### Steps:

• Predictive Encoding: Use a predictor to estimate the current pixel value based on previous ones, then encode the difference (prediction error).
• Quantization of the Difference Signal: Similar to PCM, but applied to the difference signal.
• Calculate SNR and SNR Improvement: Assess the efficiency and quality improvement of DPCM over PCM.

MATLAB Outline:

 % Predictor coefficients (to be determined based on experimentation or theory) a = 1; b = 0; % Example coefficients for a simple predictor predicted = a * Y(1:end-1) + b; error = Y(2:end) - predicted; quantizedError = round(error * (numLevels - 1) / max(abs(error))) * (max(abs(error)) / (numLevels - 1)); SNR_DPCM = snr(Y(:), Y(:) - quantizedError(:)); SNR_improvement = SNR_DPCM - SNR; 

## Conclusion

The steps outlined above provide a framework for tackling similar digital communication assignment. The key is to understand the underlying principles, apply appropriate MATLAB functions, and critically analyze the results. Remember to document your process, observations, and any assumptions made during the project. This approach not only helps in completing the assignment but also deepens your understanding of digital communication systems and MATLAB programming.