run-length encodingA kind of compression algorithm which replaces sequences ("runs") of consecutive repeated characters (or other units of data) with a single character and the length of the run. This can either be applied to all input characters, including runs of length one, or a special character can be used to introduce a run-length encoded group. The longer and more frequent the runs are, the greater the compression that will be achieved. This technique is particularly useful for encoding black and white images where the data units would be single bit pixels.
Last updated: 1994-10-27