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J. Imaging 2018, 4(2), 27;

A New Binarization Algorithm for Historical Documents

Departamento de Eletrônica e Sistemas, Centro de Tecnologia, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife-PE 50670-901, Brazil
Centro de Informática, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife-PE 50740-560, Brazil
Departamento de Estatística e Informática, Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Recife-PE 52171-900, Brazil
Programa de Pós-Graduação em Engenharia Elétrica, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife-PE 50670-901, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Document Image Processing)
PDF [2874 KB, uploaded 25 January 2018]


Monochromatic documents claim for much less computer bandwidth for network transmission and storage space than their color or even grayscale equivalent. The binarization of historical documents is far more complex than recent ones as paper aging, color, texture, translucidity, stains, back-to-front interference, kind and color of ink used in handwriting, printing process, digitalization process, etc. are some of the factors that affect binarization. This article presents a new binarization algorithm for historical documents. The new global filter proposed is performed in four steps: filtering the image using a bilateral filter, splitting image into the RGB components, decision-making for each RGB channel based on an adaptive binarization method inspired by Otsu’s method with a choice of the threshold level, and classification of the binarized images to decide which of the RGB components best preserved the document information in the foreground. The quantitative and qualitative assessment made with 23 binarization algorithms in three sets of “real world” documents showed very good results. View Full-Text
Keywords: documents; binarization; back-to-front interference; bleeding documents; binarization; back-to-front interference; bleeding

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Almeida, M.; Lins, R.D.; Bernardino, R.; Jesus, D.; Lima, B. A New Binarization Algorithm for Historical Documents. J. Imaging 2018, 4, 27.

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