AE TextSpotter: Learning Visual and Linguistic Representation for Ambiguous Text Spotting

Scene text spotting aims to detect and recognize the entire word or sentence with multiple characters in natural images. It is still challenging because ambiguity often occurs when the spacing between characters is large or the characters are evenly spread in multiple rows and columns, making many visually plausible groupings of the characters (e.g. "BERLIN" is incorrectly detected as "BERL" and "IN" in Fig. 1(c)). Unlike previous works that merely employed visual features for text detection, this work proposes a novel text spotter, named Ambiguity Eliminating Text Spotter (AE TextSpotter), which learns both visual and linguistic features to significantly reduce ambiguity in text detection. The proposed AE TextSpotter has three important benefits. 1) The linguistic representation is learned together with the visual representation in a framework. To our knowledge, it is the first time to improve text detection by using a language model. 2) A carefully designed language module is utilized to reduce the detection confidence of incorrect text lines, making them easily pruned in the detection stage. 3) Extensive experiments show that AE TextSpotter outperforms other state-of-the-art methods by a large margin. For example, we carefully select a validation set of extremely ambiguous samples from the IC19-ReCTS dataset, where our approach surpasses other methods by more than 4%. The code has been released at The image list and evaluation scripts of the validation set have been released at

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