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Response to Reviewers

Dear reviewers
Thank you for your valuable suggestions. We have made all the corrections as per your suggestions. The
details are given below.

Reviewer #3:
Query 1:Introduction is too short. This section should include the recent state-of-the-art methods with their
limitations.
Response: More details about the state-of-the-art methods are included in the introduction section. The approaches
used in these papers along with their limitations are given in this section. (Pg no: 1-2, Section: 1, Paragraph: 3-4)
Query 2: Please explain clearly the originality (novelty) of the proposed method. Without this, it is not possible to
accept.
Response:The novelty of the proposed method is given below:
The main motivation for using this approach is the capability ofFT in yielding high embedding capacity,
more security and better quality of stego image.

The novelty of this research paper is the application of FT for image steganography.
QR code is used as a secret message in this work which adds additional innovation to the proposed
methodology.
Also, the usage of GA in combination with FT and CT is a novel attempt for improving the performance of
the system.
Similarly, the combination of PSO with FT and CT is also explored in this work in the context of image
steganography. (Pg no: 2, Section: 1, Paragraph: 5)

Query 3:Please explain clearly and more details the methodology of the proposed method in step by step. Some
steps are unclear.
Response: The step by step method is made clear by including more details in the section 3.1 and 3.2.
(Pg no: 4-6, Section: 3.1 3.2)
Query 4:In Fig. 4, cover image and secret image are represented by a box. As it is not a processing unit, so please
remove the box.
Response:The boxes are removed in Figure 5. (Pg no: 5, Figure: 5, Section: 3.1)
Query 5:How can GA and PSO select the best coefficients in order to hide the QR coded secret data? Explain with
proper justification.
Response: The justification for the selection of best coefficients by GA and PSO is given in Second paragraph of
section 2.4. (Pg no: 4, Section: 2.4, Paragraph: 2)
Query 6:As it is needed to use the positions of best coefficients to determine the extraction key, therefore, the
extraction process is not blind. I strongly recommend to develop a blind extraction process. This is also very
important.
Response: Thank you for your suggestion. In this work, more emphasis is given for data embedding than data
extraction. Hence, we have used the conventional methodology for data extraction. However, your suggestion is
highly significant and we will take it and develop a blind extraction process in the future work.

Query 7:Please show more experimental results for better understanding.


Response: More experimental results are included in the manuscript. Instead of 4 images, 8 images are used in this
work. (Pg no: 6, Section: 4, Figure: 7)
Query 8:The proposed method should be compared with the recent state-of-the-art methods. Please select excellent
journal papers from IEEE/Elsevier/Springer.
Response: The comparative analysis with the recent state-of-the-art methods is shown in Table 11.
(Pg no: 15, Section: 4.4, Table: 11)
Query 9:There are some grammatical mistakes in this paper. Please correct them.
Response: The grammatical mistakes are corrected throughout the manuscript.
Query 10: The number of papers cited in reference is too short. Please include more recent published journal papers
from IEEE/Elsevier/Springer.
Response:8 more papers are cited in the reference section. It includes recent published journal papers from
IEEE/Elsevier/Springer. (Pg no: 1-2, Section: 1, Paragraph: 3-4)
Query 11:Please include some future research direction in conclusion section.
Response: Few suggestions for future work are included in the conclusion section.
(Pg no: 16, Section: 5, Line: 10-13)

Reviewer #4:
1.Query :Revise English, consult some native language speaker for corrections.
Response: The English correction has been done using native English speaker.

2.Query :Title of the paper is not sound (especially "Performance Improved Transform"), kindly revise it.
Response: The title has been changed. (Pg no: 1)
3.Query :Revise Abstract, its very brief, try to make it bit comprehensive.
Response: More comprehensive details are included in the abstract section. (Pg no: 1)
4.Query :Organize keywords in Alphabetical order.
Response: Keywords are organized in alphabetical order. (Pg no: 1)
5.Query :In introduction, discuss more related work and try to briefly explain how your approach is better.
Response: 8 more related works have been included in the introduction section. The approach used in these methods
have discussed briefly. The limitations of these approaches are highlighted to show that our approach is better.
(Pg no: 1-2, Section: 1)
6.Query :Give list of abbreviations.
Response: The list of abbreviations is included in the end of the paper. (Pg no: 17)

7.Query :Justify why you have used Genetic Algorithm (GA) and Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO). Explain with
reasons.
Response: The justification for using GA and PSO is explained in section 2.4.
(Pg no: 4, Section: 2.4, Paragraph: 1-2)
8.Query :Cite line "Quick Response (QR) code was developed by Denso Wave in 1994."
Response: It has been cited in the text and reference number 21 is included in the reference section.
(Pg no: 2, Section: 2.1, Line: 1, Paragraph: 1)

9.Query: Explain the structure of QR coded secret message


Response: The structure of QR coded secret message is illustrated in Figure 1.
(Pg no: 3, Section: 2.1, Figure: 1)
10.Query :Revise "Contourlet transform is a two dimensional (2D) transform".
Response: This specific line has been revised. (Pg no: 3, Section: 2.2, Paragraph: 1)
11.Query :Give proper Figure legends.
Response: Proper figure legends have been given for all the figures.
12.Query :Why you need to explain GA and PSO ( 2.4 and 2.5 )as independent headings, just cite them. Most
important this is not the definitions but reason to use and difference in results.
Response: Instead of giving the detailed explanation of GA and PSO, they are only cited inside the text. The reason
for using GA and PSO is given in section 2.4. (Pg no: 4, Section: 2.4, Paragraph: 1-2)

13.Query :Redraw Fig. 4. Block diagram of Data embedding


Response: The figure has been redrawn. (Pg no: 5, Section: 3.1, Figure: 5)
14.Query :Explain parameters of equations.
Response: The parameters are explained for all the equations.

15.Query :Where are the implementation details.


Response: The implementation details are included in Table 1-3. (Pg no: 6-7, Section: 4, Table: 1-3)
16.Query :How can some one validate your results or implementation.
Response: By carrying out the experiments again with our implementation details, our results can be validated.
(Pg no: 6-7, Section: 4)
17.Query :Where is the authors contribution to the work.
Response:The contributions of this work are enumerated below:
The main motivation for using this approach is the capability ofFT in yielding high embedding capacity,
more security and better quality of stego image.

The novelty of this research paper is the application of FT for image steganography.
QR code is used as a secret message in this work which adds additional innovation to the proposed
methodology.
Also, the usage of GA in combination with FT and CT is a novel attempt for improving the performance of
the system.

Similarly, the combination of PSO with FT and CT is also explored in this work in the context of image
steganography.

18.Query :Where is the download link to try this script.


Response: Instead of download link, we have supplied all the implementation details which can be used to carry out
our experiments.

19.Query :References are too less to be considered.


Response: 8 more recent references are included in the reference section which takes the total number of reference
papers to 26. (Pg no: 16-17)
20.Query :Give proper implementation details, including substantial explanations, used tools and technologies,
developed script or program, authors contributions.
Response: The implementation details, used tools and technologies are given in Section 4 (Pg no: 6-7). The details
of author contribution are given in Response 17. The developed script is given as pseudocode at the end of the
manuscript.
21. Query :Write supplementary material and give all manual or related details.
Response: supplementary material is included at the end of the manuscript.

Reviewer #5:
1. Query :The results are compared with other methods in table 11 and it seems that their results show significant
improvement over existing methods. However, I am not sure if 4 images are enough to show the performance of
their techniques.More experiments would have been more convincing.
Response:The number of images is increased to 8 and performance measures of all the 8 images are analyzed.
(Pg no: 6, Section: 4)
2. Query :From the results in table -11, it seems that PSNR is pretty much same for all 4 images. Can you do
experiments with more images and confirm that this is this case?
Response: Experiments are done with 8 images and results are included in the paper. It shows the PSNR value is
same for all the 8 images. (Pg no: 9-12, Section: 4.1-4.2, Table: 5&8)
3. Query :Can you also comment on time complexity of your algorithm and optimization process?
Response:The time complexity of our algorithm and optimization processis included in Table 4-9.
(Pg no: 9-13, Section: 4.1 4.2, Table: 4-9)