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Review Comment

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Rizki Rivai Ginanjar, Sanjay Bhardwaj, Jae-Min Lee, and Dong-Seong Kim, "Imperceptible Digital Data-Hiding in Audio File using Novel Rounding Modulation Technique", Computer Standard and Interface, 2020-Rejected.
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Date : 2020-09-29
Views : 45

Manuscript Number: CSI-D-20-00046  

Imperceptible Digital Data-Hiding in Audio File using Novel Rounding Modulation Technique

Dear Professor Kim,

Thank you for submitting your manuscript to Computer Standards & Interfaces.

I regret to inform you that the reviewers recommend against publishing your manuscript, and I must therefore reject it. My comments, and any reviewer comments, are below.   

For alternative journals that may be more suitable for your manuscript, please refer to our Journal Finder (http://journalfinder.elsevier.com).

We appreciate you submitting your manuscript to Computer Standards & Interfaces and thank you for giving us the opportunity to consider your work.  

Kind regards,    
Willy Susilo  

and Corresponding Editor
Professor Willy Susilo
Computer Standards & Interfaces

Editor and Reviewer comments:    
Reviewer #1: This paper proposes a new rounding modulation technique to provide an audio file with imperceptible digital data hiding.

The paper is largely well written: The related concepts are explained logically, and terms are defined precisely. However, there still exits a room to improve. For example, symVal (the symbol value) in Algorithm 2 is derived from the function const() based on the constellation diagram. What is an example of it? (Or you can explain more about the constellation diagram.)

However, my bigger concern is that the paper does not provide any quantitative comparison of the proposed scheme with those previously proposed in the literature. Can you provide (at least) a table that compares the ODG value of the proposed scheme with previous ones?

Also, I'm not sure if simulation results can represent the feasibility of the approach. Can you provide a small application that generates imperceptible steganography if given any WAV file?

The editorial quality is good in general. But there are some grammatical errors. Here are some examples:
- In abstract: Quality of proposed technique -> Quality of the proposed technique
- provide (line 5 from the bottom of page 3) -> provides

Suggestion decision: Major revision or Reject

Reviewer #2: The paper proposes an audio digital data hiding technique by combining rounding modulation with other conventional techniques.

My first comment is that the writing throughout the paper can definitely be improved.

The introduction is poorly presented. There is no link between contrasting audio steganography with audio watermarking, and what the paper attempts to do. Why introduce these methods in the introduction then immediately conclude with the organization of the paper.

The writeup on related work is rather brief. This area of research has been around for many years, yet the related work section is cursory, focusing more on techniques that were combined in this paper and on the paper's contribution. Of the contributions, only number 2 is somewhat legitimate. The others are byproducts of experiments using the proposed technique, and not actual contributions.

The main contribution of the paper is the digit rounding technique, as the paper combines this technique with other existing techniques. The authors state:
"After the division process, a part of the digit from the result will be constant while the other will change. The dynamic part of the result was then used to modulate the secret information while the constant or static part was used to extract the information."
If the static part is required to extract the information, then this seems to contradict the purpose of hiding the data. This is due to the fact that the static information must somehow be shared a priori before the hidden data can be extracted. Is this generated using a shared secret key that is known to authorized users? This is fine for a watermarking technique, less so for steganography. The authors state that the proposed method is closely related to steganography rather than watermarking. The authors also state in the conclusion that "Further study on the application of a specific scenario using this system is recommended...". This emphasizes the point on the proposed technique's practicality.

Comparison of the proposed technique with state of the art techniques in audio data hiding proposed by other researchers is limited. Table 3 provides comparisons with conventional data hiding techniques; it is unclear whether these were standard implementations or those proposed by other researchers. This is not a new field of study and much research on it exists. Furthermore, it appears that the results were for a single audio file. As there is insufficient experimental work, the results are unconvincing.

Suggested decision: Reject