Spectral Fluctuation Method: A Texture-Based Method to Extract Text Regions in General Scene Images

Yoichiro BABA  Akira HIROSE  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E92-D   No.9   pp.1702-1715
Publication Date: 2009/09/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.E92.D.1702
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Pattern Recognition
text detection,  texture,  image indexing,  optical character reader,  video indexing,  foveation,  Gabor filter,  

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To obtain text information included in a scene image, we first need to extract text regions from the image before recognizing the text. In this paper, we examine human vision and propose a novel method to extract text regions by evaluating textural variation. Human beings are often attracted by textural variation in scenes, which causes foveation. We frame a hypothesis that texts also have similar property that distinguishes them from the natural background. In our method, we calculate spatial variation of texture to obtain the distribution of the degree of likelihood of text region. Here we evaluate the changes in local spatial spectrum as the textural variation. We investigate two options to evaluate the spectrum, that is, those based on one- and two-dimensional Fourier transforms. In particular, in this paper, we put emphasis on the one-dimensional transform, which functions like the Gabor filter. The proposal can be applied to a wide range of characters mainly because it employs neither templates nor heuristics concerning character size, aspect ratio, specific direction, alignment, and so on. We demonstrate that the method effectively extracts text regions contained in various general scene images. We present quantitative evaluation of the method by using databases open to the public.