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Exploration of an End-to-End Automatic Number-plate Recognition neural network for Indian datasets

07/14/2022
by   Sai Sirisha Nadiminti, et al.
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Indian vehicle number plates have wide variety in terms of size, font, script and shape. Development of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) solutions is therefore challenging, necessitating a diverse dataset to serve as a collection of examples. However, a comprehensive dataset of Indian scenario is missing, thereby, hampering the progress towards publicly available and reproducible ANPR solutions. Many countries have invested efforts to develop comprehensive ANPR datasets like Chinese City Parking Dataset (CCPD) for China and Application-oriented License Plate (AOLP) dataset for US. In this work, we release an expanding dataset presently consisting of 1.5k images and a scalable and reproducible procedure of enhancing this dataset towards development of ANPR solution for Indian conditions. We have leveraged this dataset to explore an End-to-End (E2E) ANPR architecture for Indian scenario which was originally proposed for Chinese Vehicle number-plate recognition based on the CCPD dataset. As we customized the architecture for our dataset, we came across insights, which we have discussed in this paper. We report the hindrances in direct reusability of the model provided by the authors of CCPD because of the extreme diversity in Indian number plates and differences in distribution with respect to the CCPD dataset. An improvement of 42.86 detection after aligning the characteristics of Indian dataset with Chinese dataset. In this work, we have also compared the performance of the E2E number-plate detection model with YOLOv5 model, pre-trained on COCO dataset and fine-tuned on Indian vehicle images. Given that the number Indian vehicle images used for fine-tuning the detection module and yolov5 were same, we concluded that it is more sample efficient to develop an ANPR solution for Indian conditions based on COCO dataset rather than CCPD dataset.

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