Multi-modal document pre-trained models have proven to be very effective in a variety of visually-rich document understanding (VrDU) tasks. Though existing document pre-trained models have achieved excellent performance on standard benchmarks for VrDU, the way they model and exploit the interactions between vision and language on documents has hindered them from better generalization ability and higher accuracy. In this work, we investigate the problem of vision-language joint representation learning for VrDU mainly from the perspective of supervisory signals. Specifically, a pre-training paradigm called Bi-VLDoc is proposed, in which a bidirectional vision-language supervision strategy and a vision-language hybrid-attention mechanism are devised to fully explore and utilize the interactions between these two modalities, to learn stronger cross-modal document representations with richer semantics. Benefiting from the learned informative cross-modal document representations, Bi-VLDoc significantly advances the state-of-the-art performance on three widely-used document understanding benchmarks, including Form Understanding (from 85.14% to 93.44%), Receipt Information Extraction (from 96.01% to 97.84%), and Document Classification (from 96.08% to 97.12%). On Document Visual QA, Bi-VLDoc achieves the state-of-the-art performance compared to previous single model methods.
Visual Information Extraction (VIE) task aims to extract key information from multifarious document images (e.g., invoices and purchase receipts). Most previous methods treat the VIE task simply as a sequence labeling problem or classification problem, which requires models to carefully identify each kind of semantics by introducing multimodal features, such as font, color, layout. But simply introducing multimodal features couldn't work well when faced with numeric semantic categories or some ambiguous texts. To address this issue, in this paper we propose a novel key-value matching model based on a graph neural network for VIE (MatchVIE). Through key-value matching based on relevancy evaluation, the proposed MatchVIE can bypass the recognitions to various semantics, and simply focuses on the strong relevancy between entities. Besides, we introduce a simple but effective operation, Num2Vec, to tackle the instability of encoded values, which helps model converge more smoothly. Comprehensive experiments demonstrate that the proposed MatchVIE can significantly outperform previous methods. Notably, to the best of our knowledge, MatchVIE may be the first attempt to tackle the VIE task by modeling the relevancy between keys and values and it is a good complement to the existing methods.
Visual information extraction (VIE) has attracted increasing attention in recent years. The existing methods usually first organized optical character recognition (OCR) results into plain texts and then utilized token-level entity annotations as supervision to train a sequence tagging model. However, it expends great annotation costs and may be exposed to label confusion, and the OCR errors will also significantly affect the final performance. In this paper, we propose a unified weakly-supervised learning framework called TCPN (Tag, Copy or Predict Network), which introduces 1) an efficient encoder to simultaneously model the semantic and layout information in 2D OCR results; 2) a weakly-supervised training strategy that utilizes only key information sequences as supervision; and 3) a flexible and switchable decoder which contains two inference modes: one (Copy or Predict Mode) is to output key information sequences of different categories by copying a token from the input or predicting one in each time step, and the other (Tag Mode) is to directly tag the input sequence in a single forward pass. Our method shows new state-of-the-art performance on several public benchmarks, which fully proves its effectiveness.
Visual information extraction (VIE) has attracted considerable attention recently owing to its various advanced applications such as document understanding, automatic marking and intelligent education. Most existing works decoupled this problem into several independent sub-tasks of text spotting (text detection and recognition) and information extraction, which completely ignored the high correlation among them during optimization. In this paper, we propose a robust visual information extraction system (VIES) towards real-world scenarios, which is a unified end-to-end trainable framework for simultaneous text detection, recognition and information extraction by taking a single document image as input and outputting the structured information. Specifically, the information extraction branch collects abundant visual and semantic representations from text spotting for multimodal feature fusion and conversely, provides higher-level semantic clues to contribute to the optimization of text spotting. Moreover, regarding the shortage of public benchmarks, we construct a fully-annotated dataset called EPHOIE (https://github.com/HCIILAB/EPHOIE), which is the first Chinese benchmark for both text spotting and visual information extraction. EPHOIE consists of 1,494 images of examination paper head with complex layouts and background, including a total of 15,771 Chinese handwritten or printed text instances. Compared with the state-of-the-art methods, our VIES shows significant superior performance on the EPHOIE dataset and achieves a 9.01% F-score gain on the widely used SROIE dataset under the end-to-end scenario.