Text detection and recognition in natural scene with edge analysis

Text plays an important role in daily life because of its rich information, thus automatic text detection in natural scenes has many attractive applications. However, detecting and recognising such text is always a challenging problem. In this study, the authors propose a method which extends the widely-used stroke width transform by two steps of edge analysis, namely candidate edge recombination and edge classification. A new method that recognises text through candidate edge recombination and candidate edge recognition is also proposed. In the step of candidate edge recombination, they use the idea of over-segmentation and region merging. To separate text edge from background, the edge of the input image is first divided into small segments.

Then, neighbour edge segments are merged, if they have similar stroke width and colour. Through this step, each character is described by one candidate boundary. In the step of boundary classification, candidate boundaries are aggregated into text chains, followed by chain classification using character-based and chain-based features. To recognise text, the grey image is extracted based on the location of each candidate edge after the step of candidate edge recombination. Then, histogram of gradient features and a classifier are used to recognise each character. To evaluate the effectiveness of their method, the algorithm is run on the ICDAR competition dataset and Street View Text database. The experimental results show that the proposed method provides promising performance in comparison with the existing methods.

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