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The phrase peak signal-to-noise ratio, often abbreviated PSNR, is an engineering term for the ratio between the maximum possible power of a signal and the power of corrupting noise that affects the fidelity of its representation. Because many signals have a very wide dynamic range, PSNR is usually expressed in terms of the logarithmic decibel scale.
The PSNR is most commonly used as a measure of quality of reconstruction in image compression etc. It is most easily defined via the mean squared error (MSE) which for two m×n monochrome images I and K where one of the images is considered a noisy approximation of the other is defined as:
The PSNR is defined as:
Here, MAXI is the maximum pixel value of the image. When the pixels are represented using 8 bits per sample, this is 255. More generally, when samples are represented using linear PCM with B bits per sample, maximum possible value of MAXI is 2B-1.
For color images with three RGB values per pixel, the definition of PSNR is the same except the MSE is the sum over all squared value differences divided by image size and by three.
Typical values for the PSNR in image compression are between 30 and 40 dB.