Communicated by C. Mitchell.
XOR-based visual cryptography scheme (XVCS) was proposed to solve the poor visual quality problem without darkening the background in the reconstructed secret image. However, investigations on XVCS are not sufficient. In this paper, we focus on the traditional model of VCS for general access structures and exploit some extended capabilities for XVCS. Our main contributions are: (1) we put forward constructions of perfect contrast XVCS using the linear algebraic technique without any assumptions such as participants may carry multiple shares or prior information about the shares are to be submitted during the secret reconstruction phase; (2) for some restricted access structures, we achieve perfect contrast and perfect pixel expansion, namely both 1, which is impossible for any OR-based visual cryptography scheme (OVCS); (3) for general access structures, we achieve perfect contrast with smaller pixel expansion compared with many of the results in the literature; (4) Theoretical analysis on the proposed constructions are provided, as well as extensive experimental results and comparisons for demonstrating the effectiveness and advantages of our constructions.