The Benefits of Close-Domain Fine-Tuning for Table Detection in Document Images

12 Dec 2019  ·  Ángela Casado-García, César Domínguez, Jónathan Heras, Eloy Mata, Vico Pascual ·

A correct localisation of tables in a document is instrumental for determining their structure and extracting their contents; therefore, table detection is a key step in table understanding. Nowadays, the most successful methods for table detection in document images employ deep learning algorithms; and, particularly, a technique known as fine-tuning. In this context, such a technique exports the knowledge acquired to detect objects in natural images to detect tables in document images. However, there is only a vague relation between natural and document images, and fine-tuning works better when there is a close relation between the source and target task. In this paper, we show that it is more beneficial to employ fine-tuning from a closer domain. To this aim, we train different object detection algorithms (namely, Mask R-CNN, RetinaNet, SSD and YOLO) using the TableBank dataset (a dataset of images of academic documents designed for table detection and recognition), and fine-tune them for several heterogeneous table detection datasets. Using this approach, we considerably improve the accuracy of the detection models fine-tuned from natural images (in mean a 17%, and, in the best case, up to a 60%).

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