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Arabic Handwritten Documents Segmentation into Text-lines and Words using Deep Learning

Abstract : One of the most important steps in a handwriting recognition system is text-line and word segmentation. But, this step is made difficult by the differences in handwriting styles, problems of skewness, overlapping and touching of text and the fluctuations of text-lines. It is even more difficult for ancient and calligraphic writings, as in Arabic manuscripts, due to the cursive connection in Arabic text, the erroneous position of diacritic marks, the presence of ascending and descending letters, etc. In this work, we propose an effective segmentation of Arabic handwritten text into text-lines and words, using deep learning. For text-line segmentation, we used an RU-net which allows a pixel-wise classification to separate text-lines pixels from the background ones. For word segmentation, we resorted to the text-line transcription, as we have not got a ground truth at word level. A BLSTM-CTC (Bidirectional Long Short Term Memory followed by a Connectionist Temporal Classification) is then used to perform the mapping between the transcription and text-line image, avoiding the need of the input segmentation. A CNN (Convolutional Neural Network) precedes the BLST-CTC to extract the features and to feed the BLSTM with the essential of the text-line image. Tested on the standard KHATT Arabic database, the experimental results confirm a segmentation success rate of no less than 96.7% for text-lines and 80.1% for words.
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Submitted on : Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 12:32:44 PM
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Chemseddine Neche, Abdel Belaïd, Afef Kacem-Echi. Arabic Handwritten Documents Segmentation into Text-lines and Words using Deep Learning. ASAR, Sep 2019, Sydney, Australia. ⟨hal-02460880⟩

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