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 The binarization of historical documents is far more complex than recent ones as paper aging, color, texture, translucidity, stains, back-to-front interference, kind and color of ink used in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 This article presents a new binarization algorithm for historical documents.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.
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