Fingerprinting with equiangular tight frames

Dustin G. Mixon, Christopher J. Quinn, Negar Kiyavash, Matthew Fickus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Digital fingerprinting is a framework for marking media files, such as images, music, or movies, with user-specific signatures to deter illegal distribution. Multiple users can collude to produce a forgery that can potentially overcome a fingerprinting system. This paper proposes an equiangular tight frame fingerprint design which is robust to such collusion attacks. We motivate this design by considering digital fingerprinting in terms of compressed sensing. The attack is modeled as linear averaging of multiple marked copies before adding a Gaussian noise vector. The content owner can then determine guilt by exploiting correlation between each user's fingerprint and the forged copy. The worst case error probability of this detection scheme is analyzed and bounded. Simulation results demonstrate that the average-case performance is similar to the performance of orthogonal and simplex fingerprint designs, while accommodating several times as many users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6420944
Pages (from-to)1855-1865
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Theory
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013


  • Collusion attacks
  • digital fingerprinting
  • frames

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences

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