Scene text recognition (STR) in the wild frequently encounters challenges when coping with domain variations, font diversity, shape deformations, etc. A straightforward solution is performing model fine-tuning tailored to a specific scenario, but it is computationally intensive and requires multiple model copies for various scenarios. Recent studies indicate that large language models (LLMs) can learn from a few demonstration examples in a training-free manner, termed "In-Context Learning" (ICL). Nevertheless, applying LLMs as a text recognizer is unacceptably resource-consuming. Moreover, our pilot experiments on LLMs show that ICL fails in STR, mainly attributed to the insufficient incorporation of contextual information from diverse samples in the training stage. To this end, we introduce E$^2$STR, a STR model trained with context-rich scene text sequences, where the sequences are generated via our proposed in-context training strategy. E$^2$STR demonstrates that a regular-sized model is sufficient to achieve effective ICL capabilities in STR. Extensive experiments show that E$^2$STR exhibits remarkable training-free adaptation in various scenarios and outperforms even the fine-tuned state-of-the-art approaches on public benchmarks.
In the era of Large Language Models (LLMs), tremendous strides have been made in the field of multimodal understanding. However, existing advanced algorithms are limited to effectively utilizing the immense representation capabilities and rich world knowledge inherent to these large pre-trained models, and the beneficial connections among tasks within the context of text-rich scenarios have not been sufficiently explored. In this work, we introduce UniDoc, a novel multimodal model equipped with text detection and recognition capabilities, which are deficient in existing approaches. Moreover, UniDoc capitalizes on the beneficial interactions among tasks to enhance the performance of each individual task. To implement UniDoc, we perform unified multimodal instruct tuning on the contributed large-scale instruction following datasets. Quantitative and qualitative experimental results show that UniDoc sets state-of-the-art scores across multiple challenging benchmarks. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first large multimodal model capable of simultaneous text detection, recognition, spotting, and understanding.
End-to-end scene text spotting has made significant progress due to its intrinsic synergy between text detection and recognition. Previous methods commonly regard manual annotations such as horizontal rectangles, rotated rectangles, quadrangles,and polygons as a prerequisite, which are much more expensive than using single-point. For the first time, we demonstrate that training scene text spotting models can be achieved with an extremely low-cost single-point annotation by the proposed framework, termed SPTS v2. SPTS v2 reserves the advantage of the auto-regressive Transformer with an Instance Assignment Decoder (IAD) through sequentially predicting the center points of all text instances inside the same predicting sequence, while with a Parallel Recognition Decoder (PRD) for text recognition in parallel. These two decoders share the same parameters and are interactively connected with a simple but effective information transmission process to pass the gradient and information. Comprehensive experiments on various existing benchmark datasets demonstrate the SPTS v2 can outperform previous state-of-the-art single-point text spotters with fewer parameters while achieving 14x faster inference speed. Most importantly, within the scope of our SPTS v2, extensive experiments further reveal an important phenomenon that single-point serves as the optimal setting for the scene text spotting compared to non-point, rectangular bounding box, and polygonal bounding box. Such an attempt provides a significant opportunity for scene text spotting applications beyond the realms of existing paradigms. Code is available at https://github.com/shannanyinxiang/SPTS.
* arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:2112.07917
Text detection and recognition are essential components of a modern OCR system. Most OCR approaches attempt to obtain accurate bounding boxes of text at the detection stage, which is used as the input of the text recognition stage. We observe that when using tight text bounding boxes as input, a text recognizer frequently fails to achieve optimal performance due to the inconsistency between bounding boxes and deep representations of text recognition. In this paper, we propose Box Adjuster, a reinforcement learning-based method for adjusting the shape of each text bounding box to make it more compatible with text recognition models. Additionally, when dealing with cross-domain problems such as synthetic-to-real, the proposed method significantly reduces mismatches in domain distribution between the source and target domains. Experiments demonstrate that the performance of end-to-end text recognition systems can be improved when using the adjusted bounding boxes as the ground truths for training. Specifically, on several benchmark datasets for scene text understanding, the proposed method outperforms state-of-the-art text spotters by an average of 2.0% F-Score on end-to-end text recognition tasks and 4.6% F-Score on domain adaptation tasks.
Recently, transformer-based methods have achieved promising progresses in object detection, as they can eliminate the post-processes like NMS and enrich the deep representations. However, these methods cannot well cope with scene text due to its extreme variance of scales and aspect ratios. In this paper, we present a simple yet effective transformer-based architecture for scene text detection. Different from previous approaches that learn robust deep representations of scene text in a holistic manner, our method performs scene text detection based on a few representative features, which avoids the disturbance by background and reduces the computational cost. Specifically, we first select a few representative features at all scales that are highly relevant to foreground text. Then, we adopt a transformer for modeling the relationship of the sampled features, which effectively divides them into reasonable groups. As each feature group corresponds to a text instance, its bounding box can be easily obtained without any post-processing operation. Using the basic feature pyramid network for feature extraction, our method consistently achieves state-of-the-art results on several popular datasets for scene text detection.