Automatic character detection and segmentation in natural scene images

Research paper by Kai-hua Zhu, Fei-hu Qi, Ren-jie Jiang, Li Xu

Indexed on: 01 Jan '07Published on: 01 Jan '07Published in: Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE A


We present a robust connected-component (CC) based method for automatic detection and segmentation of text in real-scene images. This technique can be applied in robot vision, sign recognition, meeting processing and video indexing. First, a Non-Linear Niblack method (NLNiblack) is proposed to decompose the image into candidate CCs. Then, all these CCs are fed into a cascade of classifiers trained by Adaboost algorithm. Each classifier in the cascade responds to one feature of the CC. Proposed here are 12 novel features which are insensitive to noise, scale, text orientation and text language. The classifier cascade allows non-text CCs of the image to be rapidly discarded while more computation is spent on promising text-like CCs. The CCs passing through the cascade are considered as text components and are used to form the segmentation result. A prototype system was built, with experimental results proving the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed method.