Sequence to sequence learning for unconstrained scene text recognition

07/20/2016 ∙ by Ahmed Mamdouh A. Hassanien, et al. ∙ 0

In this work we present a state-of-the-art approach for unconstrained natural scene text recognition. We propose a cascade approach that incorporates a convolutional neural network (CNN) architecture followed by a long short term memory model (LSTM). The CNN learns visual features for the characters and uses them with a softmax layer to detect sequence of characters. While the CNN gives very good recognition results, it does not model relation between characters, hence gives rise to false positive and false negative cases (confusing characters due to visual similarities like "g" and "9", or confusing background patches with characters; either removing existing characters or adding non-existing ones) To alleviate these problems we leverage recent developments in LSTM architectures to encode contextual information. We show that the LSTM can dramatically reduce such errors and achieve state-of-the-art accuracy in the task of unconstrained natural scene text recognition. Moreover we manually remove all occurrences of the words that exist in the test set from our training set to test whether our approach will generalize to unseen data. We use the ICDAR 13 test set for evaluation and compare the results with the state of the art approaches [11, 18]. We finally present an application of the work in the domain of for traffic monitoring.

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