BEDSR-Net: A Deep Shadow Removal Network From a Single Document Image

Removing shadows in document images enhances both the visual quality and readability of digital copies of documents. Most existing shadow removal algorithms for document images use hand-crafted heuristics and are often not robust to documents with different characteristics. This paper proposes the Background Estimation Document Shadow Removal Network (BEDSR-Net), the first deep network specifically designed for document image shadow removal. For taking advantage of specific properties of document images, a background estimation module is designed for extracting the global background color of the document. During the process of estimating the background color, the module also learns information about the spatial distribution of background and non-background pixels. We encode such information into an attention map. With the estimated global background color and attention map, the shadow removal network can better recover the shadow-free image. We also show that the model trained on synthetic images remains effective for real photos, and provide a large set of synthetic shadow images of documents along with their corresponding shadow-free images and shadow masks. Extensive quantitative and qualitative experiments on several benchmarks show that the BEDSR-Net outperforms existing methods in enhancing both the visual quality and readability of document images.

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