Recently, the advent of Large Visual-Language Models (LVLMs) has received increasing attention across various domains, particularly in the field of visual document understanding (VDU). Different from conventional vision-language tasks, VDU is specifically concerned with text-rich scenarios containing abundant document elements. Nevertheless, the importance of fine-grained features remains largely unexplored within the community of LVLMs, leading to suboptimal performance in text-rich scenarios. In this paper, we abbreviate it as the fine-grained feature collapse issue. With the aim of filling this gap, we propose a contrastive learning framework, termed Document Object COntrastive learning (DoCo), specifically tailored for the downstream tasks of VDU. DoCo leverages an auxiliary multimodal encoder to obtain the features of document objects and align them to the visual features generated by the vision encoder of LVLM, which enhances visual representation in text-rich scenarios. It can represent that the contrastive learning between the visual holistic representations and the multimodal fine-grained features of document objects can assist the vision encoder in acquiring more effective visual cues, thereby enhancing the comprehension of text-rich documents in LVLMs. We also demonstrate that the proposed DoCo serves as a plug-and-play pre-training method, which can be employed in the pre-training of various LVLMs without inducing any increase in computational complexity during the inference process. Extensive experimental results on multiple benchmarks of VDU reveal that LVLMs equipped with our proposed DoCo can achieve superior performance and mitigate the gap between VDU and generic vision-language tasks.
We propose a novel end-to-end document understanding model called SeRum (SElective Region Understanding Model) for extracting meaningful information from document images, including document analysis, retrieval, and office automation. Unlike state-of-the-art approaches that rely on multi-stage technical schemes and are computationally expensive, SeRum converts document image understanding and recognition tasks into a local decoding process of the visual tokens of interest, using a content-aware token merge module. This mechanism enables the model to pay more attention to regions of interest generated by the query decoder, improving the model's effectiveness and speeding up the decoding speed of the generative scheme. We also designed several pre-training tasks to enhance the understanding and local awareness of the model. Experimental results demonstrate that SeRum achieves state-of-the-art performance on document understanding tasks and competitive results on text spotting tasks. SeRum represents a substantial advancement towards enabling efficient and effective end-to-end document understanding.
We exploit the potential of the large-scale Contrastive Language-Image Pretraining (CLIP) model to enhance scene text detection and spotting tasks, transforming it into a robust backbone, FastTCM-CR50. This backbone utilizes visual prompt learning and cross-attention in CLIP to extract image and text-based prior knowledge. Using predefined and learnable prompts, FastTCM-CR50 introduces an instance-language matching process to enhance the synergy between image and text embeddings, thereby refining text regions. Our Bimodal Similarity Matching (BSM) module facilitates dynamic language prompt generation, enabling offline computations and improving performance. FastTCM-CR50 offers several advantages: 1) It can enhance existing text detectors and spotters, improving performance by an average of 1.7% and 1.5%, respectively. 2) It outperforms the previous TCM-CR50 backbone, yielding an average improvement of 0.2% and 0.56% in text detection and spotting tasks, along with a 48.5% increase in inference speed. 3) It showcases robust few-shot training capabilities. Utilizing only 10% of the supervised data, FastTCM-CR50 improves performance by an average of 26.5% and 5.5% for text detection and spotting tasks, respectively. 4) It consistently enhances performance on out-of-distribution text detection and spotting datasets, particularly the NightTime-ArT subset from ICDAR2019-ArT and the DOTA dataset for oriented object detection. The code is available at https://github.com/wenwenyu/TCM.
* arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:2302.14338
Structured text extraction is one of the most valuable and challenging application directions in the field of Document AI. However, the scenarios of past benchmarks are limited, and the corresponding evaluation protocols usually focus on the submodules of the structured text extraction scheme. In order to eliminate these problems, we organized the ICDAR 2023 competition on Structured text extraction from Visually-Rich Document images (SVRD). We set up two tracks for SVRD including Track 1: HUST-CELL and Track 2: Baidu-FEST, where HUST-CELL aims to evaluate the end-to-end performance of Complex Entity Linking and Labeling, and Baidu-FEST focuses on evaluating the performance and generalization of Zero-shot / Few-shot Structured Text extraction from an end-to-end perspective. Compared to the current document benchmarks, our two tracks of competition benchmark enriches the scenarios greatly and contains more than 50 types of visually-rich document images (mainly from the actual enterprise applications). The competition opened on 30th December, 2022 and closed on 24th March, 2023. There are 35 participants and 91 valid submissions received for Track 1, and 15 participants and 26 valid submissions received for Track 2. In this report we will presents the motivation, competition datasets, task definition, evaluation protocol, and submission summaries. According to the performance of the submissions, we believe there is still a large gap on the expected information extraction performance for complex and zero-shot scenarios. It is hoped that this competition will attract many researchers in the field of CV and NLP, and bring some new thoughts to the field of Document AI.
* ICDAR 2023 Competition on SVRD report (To be appear in ICDAR 2023)
Document Information Extraction (DIE) has attracted increasing attention due to its various advanced applications in the real world. Although recent literature has already achieved competitive results, these approaches usually fail when dealing with complex documents with noisy OCR results or mutative layouts. This paper proposes Generative Multi-modal Network (GMN) for real-world scenarios to address these problems, which is a robust multi-modal generation method without predefined label categories. With the carefully designed spatial encoder and modal-aware mask module, GMN can deal with complex documents that are hard to serialized into sequential order. Moreover, GMN tolerates errors in OCR results and requires no character-level annotation, which is vital because fine-grained annotation of numerous documents is laborious and even requires annotators with specialized domain knowledge. Extensive experiments show that GMN achieves new state-of-the-art performance on several public DIE datasets and surpasses other methods by a large margin, especially in realistic scenes.
Relational understanding is critical for a number of visually-rich documents (VRDs) understanding tasks. Through multi-modal pre-training, recent studies provide comprehensive contextual representations and exploit them as prior knowledge for downstream tasks. In spite of their impressive results, we observe that the widespread relational hints (e.g., relation of key/value fields on receipts) built upon contextual knowledge are not excavated yet. To mitigate this gap, we propose DocReL, a Document Relational Representation Learning framework. The major challenge of DocReL roots in the variety of relations. From the simplest pairwise relation to the complex global structure, it is infeasible to conduct supervised training due to the definition of relation varies and even conflicts in different tasks. To deal with the unpredictable definition of relations, we propose a novel contrastive learning task named Relational Consistency Modeling (RCM), which harnesses the fact that existing relations should be consistent in differently augmented positive views. RCM provides relational representations which are more compatible to the urgent need of downstream tasks, even without any knowledge about the exact definition of relation. DocReL achieves better performance on a wide variety of VRD relational understanding tasks, including table structure recognition, key information extraction and reading order detection.