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Bootstrapping Weakly Supervised Segmentation-free Word Spotting through HMM-based Alignment
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Division of Visual Information and Interaction.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6783-1744
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Recent work in word spotting in handwritten documents has yielded impressive results. Yet this progress has largely been made by supervised learning systems which are dependant on manually annotated data, making deployment to new collections a significant effort. In this paper we propose an approach utilising transcriptions without bounding box annotations to train segmentation-free word spotting models, given a model partially trained with full annotations. This is done through an alignment procedure based on hidden Markov models. This model can create a tentative mapping between word region proposals and the transcriptions to automatically create additional weakly annotated training data. Using as little as 1% and 10% of the fully annotated training sets for partial convergence, we automatically annotate the remaining training data and successfully train using it. Across all datasets, our approach comes within a few mAP% of achieving the same performance as a model trained with only full ground truth. We believe that this will be a significant advance towards a more general use of word spotting, since digital transcription data will already exist for parts of many collections of interest.

Keywords [en]
weakly supervised, segmentation-free word spotting, convolutional neural network, hidden Markov model
National Category
Computer Vision and Robotics (Autonomous Systems)
Research subject
Computerized Image Processing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-381304OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-381304DiVA, id: diva2:1302901
Projects
q2b
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2012-5743Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, NHS14-2068:1Available from: 2019-04-07 Created: 2019-04-07 Last updated: 2019-04-08
In thesis
1. Learning based Word Search and Visualisation for Historical Manuscript Images
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Learning based Word Search and Visualisation for Historical Manuscript Images
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Today, work with historical manuscripts is nearly exclusively done manually, by researchers in the humanities as well as laypeople mapping out their personal genealogy. This is a highly time consuming endeavour as it is not uncommon to spend months with the same volume of a few hundred pages. The last few decades have seen an ongoing effort to digitise manuscripts, both preservation purposes and to increase accessibility. This has the added effect of enabling the use methods and algorithms from Image Analysis and Machine Learning that have great potential in both making existing work more efficient and creating new methodologies for manuscript-based research.

The first part of this thesis focuses on Word Spotting, the task of searching for a given text query in a manuscript collection. This can be broken down into two tasks, detecting where the words are located on the page, and then ranking the words according to their similarity to a search query. We propose Deep Learning models to do both, separately and then simultaneously, and successfully search through a large manuscript collection consisting of over a hundred thousand pages.

A limiting factor in applying learning-based methods to historical manuscript images is the cost, and therefore, lack of annotated data needed to train machine learning models. We propose several ways to mitigate this problem, including generating synthetic data, augmenting existing data to get better value from it, and learning from pre-existing, partially annotated data that was previously unusable.

In the second part, a method for visualising manuscript collections called the Image-based Word Cloud is proposed. Much like it text-based counterpart, it arranges the most representative words in a collection into a cloud, where the size of the words are proportional to their frequency of occurrence. This grants a user a single image overview of a manuscript collection, regardless of its size. We further propose a way to estimate a manuscripts production date. This can grant historians context that is crucial for correctly interpreting the contents of a manuscript.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2019. p. 82
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1798
Keywords
Word Spotting, Convolutional Neural Networks, Deep Learning, Region Proposals, Historical Manuscripts, Computer Vision, Image Analysis, Visualisation, Document Analysis
National Category
Computer Vision and Robotics (Autonomous Systems)
Research subject
Computerized Image Processing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-381308 (URN)978-91-513-0633-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-06-04, TLS (Tidskriftläsesalen), Carolina Rediviva, Dag Hammarskjölds väg 1, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2012-5743Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, NHS14-2068:1
Available from: 2019-05-13 Created: 2019-04-08 Last updated: 2019-06-18

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