DocXClassifier: High Performance Explainable Deep Network for Document Image Classification

Convolutional Neural Networks (ConvNets) have been thoroughly researched for document image classification and are known for their exceptional performance in unimodal image-based document classification. Recently, however, there has been a sudden shift in the field towards multimodal approaches that simultaneously learn from the visual and textual features of the documents. While this has led to significant advances in the field, it has also led to a waning interest in improving pure ConvNets-based approaches. This is not desirable, as many of the multimodal approaches still use ConvNets as their visual backbone, and thus improving ConvNets is essential to improving these approaches. In this paper, we present DocXClassifier, a ConvNet-based approach that, using state-of-the-art model design patterns together with modern data augmentation and training strategies, not only achieves significant performance improvements in image-based document classification, but also outperforms some of the recently proposed multimodal approaches. Moreover, DocXClassifier is capable of generating transformer-like attention maps, which makes it inherently interpretable, a property not found in previous image-based classification models. Our approach achieves a new peak performance in image-based classification on two popular document datasets, namely RVL-CDIP and Tobacco3482, with a top-1 classification accuracy of 94.17% and 95.57% on the two datasets, respectively. Moreover, it sets a new record for the highest image-based classification accuracy of 90.14% on Tobacco3482 without transfer learning from RVL-CDIP. Finally, our proposed model may serve as a powerful visual backbone for future multimodal approaches, by providing much richer visual features than existing counterparts.

Task Dataset Model Metric Name Metric Value Global Rank Benchmark
Document Image Classification RVL-CDIP DocXClassifier-B Accuracy 94.00% # 14
Parameters 95.4M # 16
Document Image Classification Tobacco-3482 DocXClassifier-L Accuracy 95.57 # 1


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