WordFence: Text Detection in Natural Images with Border Awareness

15 May 2017  ·  Andrei Polzounov, Artsiom Ablavatski, Sergio Escalera, Shijian Lu, Jianfei Cai ·

In recent years, text recognition has achieved remarkable success in recognizing scanned document text. However, word recognition in natural images is still an open problem, which generally requires time consuming post-processing steps. We present a novel architecture for individual word detection in scene images based on semantic segmentation. Our contributions are twofold: the concept of WordFence, which detects border areas surrounding each individual word and a novel pixelwise weighted softmax loss function which penalizes background and emphasizes small text regions. WordFence ensures that each word is detected individually, and the new loss function provides a strong training signal to both text and word border localization. The proposed technique avoids intensive post-processing, producing an end-to-end word detection system. We achieve superior localization recall on common benchmark datasets - 92% recall on ICDAR11 and ICDAR13 and 63% recall on SVT. Furthermore, our end-to-end word recognition system achieves state-of-the-art 86% F-Score on ICDAR13.

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