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Open AccessArticle

Robust Combined Binarization Method of Non-Uniformly Illuminated Document Images for Alphanumerical Character Recognition

Faculty of Electrical Engineering, West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin, 70-313 Szczecin, Poland
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Sensors 2020, 20(10), 2914; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20102914
Received: 30 March 2020 / Revised: 13 May 2020 / Accepted: 19 May 2020 / Published: 21 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Document-Image Related Visual Sensors and Machine Learning Techniques)
Image binarization is one of the key operations decreasing the amount of information used in further analysis of image data, significantly influencing the final results. Although in some applications, where well illuminated images may be easily captured, ensuring a high contrast, even a simple global thresholding may be sufficient, there are some more challenging solutions, e.g., based on the analysis of natural images or assuming the presence of some quality degradations, such as in historical document images. Considering the variety of image binarization methods, as well as their different applications and types of images, one cannot expect a single universal thresholding method that would be the best solution for all images. Nevertheless, since one of the most common operations preceded by the binarization is the Optical Character Recognition (OCR), which may also be applied for non-uniformly illuminated images captured by camera sensors mounted in mobile phones, the development of even better binarization methods in view of the maximization of the OCR accuracy is still expected. Therefore, in this paper, the idea of the use of robust combined measures is presented, making it possible to bring together the advantages of various methods, including some recently proposed approaches based on entropy filtering and a multi-layered stack of regions. The experimental results, obtained for a dataset of 176 non-uniformly illuminated document images, referred to as the WEZUT OCR Dataset, confirm the validity and usefulness of the proposed approach, leading to a significant increase of the recognition accuracy. View Full-Text
Keywords: image binarization; optical character recognition; document images; local thresholding; image pre-processing; natural images image binarization; optical character recognition; document images; local thresholding; image pre-processing; natural images
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Michalak, H.; Okarma, K. Robust Combined Binarization Method of Non-Uniformly Illuminated Document Images for Alphanumerical Character Recognition. Sensors 2020, 20, 2914.

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