Extracting text from scanned Arabic books: a large-scale benchmark dataset and a fine-tuned Faster-R-CNN model

Randa Elanwar, Wenda Qin, Margrit Betke, Derry Wijaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Datasets of documents in Arabic are urgently needed to promote computer vision and natural language processing research that addresses the specifics of the language. Unfortunately, publicly available Arabic datasets are limited in size and restricted to certain document domains. This paper presents the release of BE-Arabic-9K, a dataset of more than 9000 high-quality scanned images from over 700 Arabic books. Among these, 1500 images have been manually segmented into regions and labeled by their functionality. BE-Arabic-9K includes book pages with a wide variety of complex layouts and page contents, making it suitable for various document layout analysis and text recognition research tasks. The paper also presents a page layout segmentation and text extraction baseline model based on fine-tuned Faster R-CNN structure (FFRA). This baseline model yields cross-validation results with an average accuracy of 99.4% and F1 score of 99.1% for text versus non-text block classification on 1500 annotated images of BE-Arabic-9K. These results are remarkably better than those of the state-of-the-art Arabic book page segmentation system ECDP. FFRA also outperforms three other prior systems when tested on a competition benchmark dataset, making it an outstanding baseline model to challenge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-362
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal on Document Analysis and Recognition
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

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