All tables can be represented as grids. Based on this observation, we propose GridFormer, a novel approach for interpreting unconstrained table structures by predicting the vertex and edge of a grid. First, we propose a flexible table representation in the form of an MXN grid. In this representation, the vertexes and edges of the grid store the localization and adjacency information of the table. Then, we introduce a DETR-style table structure recognizer to efficiently predict this multi-objective information of the grid in a single shot. Specifically, given a set of learned row and column queries, the recognizer directly outputs the vertexes and edges information of the corresponding rows and columns. Extensive experiments on five challenging benchmarks which include wired, wireless, multi-merge-cell, oriented, and distorted tables demonstrate the competitive performance of our model over other methods.
Due to the flexible representation of arbitrary-shaped scene text and simple pipeline, bottom-up segmentation-based methods begin to be mainstream in real-time scene text detection. Despite great progress, these methods show deficiencies in robustness and still suffer from false positives and instance adhesion. Different from existing methods which integrate multiple-granularity features or multiple outputs, we resort to the perspective of representation learning in which auxiliary tasks are utilized to enable the encoder to jointly learn robust features with the main task of per-pixel classification during optimization. For semantic representation learning, we propose global-dense semantic contrast (GDSC), in which a vector is extracted for global semantic representation, then used to perform element-wise contrast with the dense grid features. To learn instance-aware representation, we propose to combine top-down modeling (TDM) with the bottom-up framework to provide implicit instance-level clues for the encoder. With the proposed GDSC and TDM, the encoder network learns stronger representation without introducing any parameters and computations during inference. Equipped with a very light decoder, the detector can achieve more robust real-time scene text detection. Experimental results on four public datasets show that the proposed method can outperform or be comparable to the state-of-the-art on both accuracy and speed. Specifically, the proposed method achieves 87.2% F-measure with 48.2 FPS on Total-Text and 89.6% F-measure with 36.9 FPS on MSRA-TD500 on a single GeForce RTX 2080 Ti GPU.
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)
Typical text spotters follow the two-stage spotting strategy: detect the precise boundary for a text instance first and then perform text recognition within the located text region. While such strategy has achieved substantial progress, there are two underlying limitations. 1) The performance of text recognition depends heavily on the precision of text detection, resulting in the potential error propagation from detection to recognition. 2) The RoI cropping which bridges the detection and recognition brings noise from background and leads to information loss when pooling or interpolating from feature maps. In this work we propose the single shot Self-Reliant Scene Text Spotter (SRSTS), which circumvents these limitations by decoupling recognition from detection. Specifically, we conduct text detection and recognition in parallel and bridge them by the shared positive anchor point. Consequently, our method is able to recognize the text instances correctly even though the precise text boundaries are challenging to detect. Additionally, our method reduces the annotation cost for text detection substantially. Extensive experiments on regular-shaped benchmark and arbitrary-shaped benchmark demonstrate that our SRSTS compares favorably to previous state-of-the-art spotters in terms of both accuracy and efficiency.
* To be appeared in the Proceedings of the ACM International Conference
on Multimedia (ACM MM), 2022
In this paper, we present a model pretraining technique, named MaskOCR, for text recognition. Our text recognition architecture is an encoder-decoder transformer: the encoder extracts the patch-level representations, and the decoder recognizes the text from the representations. Our approach pretrains both the encoder and the decoder in a sequential manner. (i) We pretrain the encoder in a self-supervised manner over a large set of unlabeled real text images. We adopt the masked image modeling approach, which shows the effectiveness for general images, expecting that the representations take on semantics. (ii) We pretrain the decoder over a large set of synthesized text images in a supervised manner and enhance the language modeling capability of the decoder by randomly masking some text image patches occupied by characters input to the encoder and accordingly the representations input to the decoder. Experiments show that the proposed MaskOCR approach achieves superior results on the benchmark datasets, including Chinese and English text images.
The reading of arbitrarily-shaped text has received increasing research attention. However, existing text spotters are mostly built on two-stage frameworks or character-based methods, which suffer from either Non-Maximum Suppression (NMS), Region-of-Interest (RoI) operations, or character-level annotations. In this paper, to address the above problems, we propose a novel fully convolutional Point Gathering Network (PGNet) for reading arbitrarily-shaped text in real-time. The PGNet is a single-shot text spotter, where the pixel-level character classification map is learned with proposed PG-CTC loss avoiding the usage of character-level annotations. With a PG-CTC decoder, we gather high-level character classification vectors from two-dimensional space and decode them into text symbols without NMS and RoI operations involved, which guarantees high efficiency. Additionally, reasoning the relations between each character and its neighbors, a graph refinement module (GRM) is proposed to optimize the coarse recognition and improve the end-to-end performance. Experiments prove that the proposed method achieves competitive accuracy, meanwhile significantly improving the running speed. In particular, in Total-Text, it runs at 46.7 FPS, surpassing the previous spotters with a large margin.
Unifying text detection and text recognition in an end-to-end training fashion has become a new trend for reading text in the wild, as these two tasks are highly relevant and complementary. In this paper, we investigate the problem of scene text spotting, which aims at simultaneous text detection and recognition in natural images. An end-to-end trainable neural network named as Mask TextSpotter is presented. Different from the previous text spotters that follow the pipeline consisting of a proposal generation network and a sequence-to-sequence recognition network, Mask TextSpotter enjoys a simple and smooth end-to-end learning procedure, in which both detection and recognition can be achieved directly from two-dimensional space via semantic segmentation. Further, a spatial attention module is proposed to enhance the performance and universality. Benefiting from the proposed two-dimensional representation on both detection and recognition, it easily handles text instances of irregular shapes, for instance, curved text. We evaluate it on four English datasets and one multi-language dataset, achieving consistently superior performance over state-of-the-art methods in both detection and end-to-end text recognition tasks. Moreover, we further investigate the recognition module of our method separately, which significantly outperforms state-of-the-art methods on both regular and irregular text datasets for scene text recognition.
* Accepted by TPAMI. An extension of the conference version. arXiv
admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1807.02242
Irregular scene text, which has complex layout in 2D space, is challenging to most previous scene text recognizers. Recently, some irregular scene text recognizers either rectify the irregular text to regular text image with approximate 1D layout or transform the 2D image feature map to 1D feature sequence. Though these methods have achieved good performance, the robustness and accuracy are still limited due to the loss of spatial information in the process of 2D to 1D transformation. Different from all of previous, we in this paper propose a framework which transforms the irregular text with 2D layout to character sequence directly via 2D attentional scheme. We utilize a relation attention module to capture the dependencies of feature maps and a parallel attention module to decode all characters in parallel, which make our method more effective and efficient. Extensive experiments on several public benchmarks as well as our collected multi-line text dataset show that our approach is effective to recognize regular and irregular scene text and outperforms previous methods both in accuracy and speed.
Inspired by speech recognition, recent state-of-the-art algorithms mostly consider scene text recognition as a sequence prediction problem. Though achieving excellent performance, these methods usually neglect an important fact that text in images are actually distributed in two-dimensional space. It is a nature quite different from that of speech, which is essentially a one-dimensional signal. In principle, directly compressing features of text into a one-dimensional form may lose useful information and introduce extra noise. In this paper, we approach scene text recognition from a two-dimensional perspective. A simple yet effective model, called Character Attention Fully Convolutional Network (CA-FCN), is devised for recognizing text of arbitrary shapes. Scene text recognition is realized with a semantic segmentation network, where an attention mechanism for characters is adopted. Combined with a word formation module, CA-FCN can simultaneously recognize the script and predict the position of each character. Experiments demonstrate that the proposed algorithm outperforms previous methods on both regular and irregular text datasets. Moreover, it is proven to be more robust to imprecise localizations in the text detection phase, which are very common in practice.