Difference Between Lossy Compression and Lossless Compression

Lossy Compression Vs. Lossless Compression: Find the Difference Between Lossy Compression and Lossless Compression

The technique of Data Processing allows its users to reduce the data size without losing any overall information. The data compression method comes with two broad categories- lossless compression and lossy compression. There is a primary difference between both of these. The lossy compression technique doesn’t restore the intended data in the original form once we decompress it. On the other hand, lossless compression easily rebuilds the original form of data and restores it after the decomposition process. Before we get into the difference between lossy compression and lossless compression in detail- let us first understand a bit more about both of these.

What is Lossy Compression?

This technique compresses various large files into smaller ones. The lossy data compression technique removes a specified amount and quality of data from the intended original file (data loss). As a result, the memory space it takes from the original file gets very low (because we lose the original quality and amount of data). This technique comes to play when a user doesn’t need to prioritize the quality of data in the compressing files.

Note – A human eye is incapable of measuring data loss.

Mainly MP3 audio, MPEG video, and JPEG image formats make use of the technique of lossy data technique. Some very crucial techniques of lossy data compression are:

  • DWT (Discrete Wavelet Transform)
  • DCT (Discrete Cosine Transform)
  • Transform Coding

What is Lossless Compression?

This technique compresses the given data files without losing the original data and quality of the content within. In simple words, lossless data compression leads to a reduction in file size while still maintaining the original amount and quality of the data that it carries. The primary advantage of this type of data compression is that one can easily restore the original data and its quality once they decompress it.

Mainly confidential information and sensitive documents make use of lossless data compression. File formats like BMP, GIF, RAW, ONG, etc., also use this technique. Some very crucial techniques of lossless data compression are:

  • Arithmetic Coding
  • Huffman Coding
  • LZW (Lempel Ziv – Welch)
  • RLE (Run Length Encoding)

Difference Between Lossy Compression and Lossless Compression

Parameters Lossy Data Compression Lossless Data Compression
Definition The lossy data compression technique removes a specified amount and quality of data from the intended original file (data loss). The lossless data compression leads to a reduction in file size while still maintaining the original amount and quality of the data that it carries.
Non-noticeable Data Elimination This technique leads to data loss but eliminates the non-noticeable form of data. This technique does not lead to the elimination of non-noticeable data forms.
Restoration of files This technique cannot restore the original amount and quality of the data contained in the original file. This technique can easily restore the original quality and amount of data in an available file after decompression.
Data Quality It compromises the original quality of data. It does not lead to the compromise of the original data quality.
Data Size The original size of data reduces after lossy data compression. The original size of data stays intact after lossless data compression.
Algorithms This technique uses algorithms like Fractal Compression, DWT (Discrete Wavelet Transform), DCT (Discrete Cosine Transform), Transform Coding, etc. This technique uses algorithms like Arithmetic Coding, Huffman Coding, LZW (Lempel Ziv – Welch), RLE (Run Length Encoding), etc.
Uses Mainly MP3 audio, MPEG video, and JPEG image formats make use of the technique of lossy data technique. Mainly confidential information and sensitive documents make use of lossless data compression. File formats like BMP, GIF, RAW, ONG, etc., also use this technique.
Data Holding Capacity This technique can hold more data because it does not need to restore them back to their original form. This technique can hold less data because it restores the original quality and amount of data without any hassle.
Commonly Used Term We can also call it irreversible compression. We can also call it reversible compression.

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