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(data, algorithm)
A technique used in quantisation processes such as graphics and audio to reduce or remove the correlation between noise and signal.

Dithering is used in computer graphics to create additional colors and shades from an existing palette by interspersing pixels of different colours. On a monochrome display, areas of grey are created by varying the proportion of black and white pixels. In colour displays and printers, colours and textures are created by varying the proportions of existing colours. The different colours can either be distributed randomly or regularly. The higher the resolution of the display, the smoother the dithered colour will appear to the eye.

Dithering doesn't reduce resolution. There are three types: regular dithering which uses a very regular predefined pattern; random dither where the pattern is a random noise; and pseudo random dither which uses a very large, very regular, predefined pattern.

Dithering is used to create patterns for use as backgrounds, fills and shading, as well as for creating halftones for printing. When used for printing is it very sensitive to paper properties. Dithering can be combined with rasterising. It is not related to anti-aliasing.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)


Causing a displayed or printed image to appear more photographic by inserting shades of gray or color. Dithering simulates more colors and shades in a palette than actually exist.

While dithering cannot produce the identical results as having sufficient levels of gray or colors in the graphics display system (the color depth), it can make shaded drawings and photographs appear extremely realistic. See color depth, 24-bit color and halftone.

Dithering is also widely used to smooth curves and diagonals (see anti-aliasing).

Dithering a Color Image
An infinite palette of colors can be created by using varying shades in adjacent pixels. The right side is a magnification of the left.

Text Is Also Dithered
At the top of this example, the dithered word DATABASE is softer than the undithered word below. The magnified view shows the lighter blue pixels filling in the curves. Dithering on curves and diagonals is called "anti-aliasing."

More Shades Than You Think
At a quick glance, this Android logo appears to be solid green, white and black. However, the magnified view of one of the antennas shows otherwise. See GIF.
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References in periodicals archive ?
She was feeling much better until a letter arrived from the dithering driver, who was not involved in the accident in any way.
However, Carwyn Jones' Labour government has issued 400 consultations in just three years, which is symptomatic of indecision and dithering in the face of Wales' problems."
"So my message to the First Minister is this: stop dithering and start delivering."
Efficiently cooling your camera, obtaining at least three images with each filter, and dithering between exposures can reduce much of the unwanted noise in your results.
As for dithering, it's helpful to remember that, right or wrong, such an adjective applies only to the process of making a decision.
With such clear enunciation of what the Hindus presumably believe, the Congress dithering will clearly cut no ice.
Dithering that was not present when they then bent rules to save the Scottish banks.
Schematic of considered system with nonsubtractive dithering is shown in the Fig.
"What Vice-President Cheney calls dithering, the president calls his solemn responsibility to the men and women in uniform and the American public," Gibbs said.
After ten months of dithering and ducking, Jaguar Land Rover have raised the cash they needed without the Government's help and guess what?
I'd prefer to hear ANGELA RIPPON dithering over her script on Cash in the Attic.
PRINCE Philip has urged grandson Wills to "stop dithering" about whether to wed Kate Middleton.