Rough Document Interpretation by Perceptual Organization

Proc. SDIUT '2003 (Symposium on Document Image Understanding Technology)
Greenbelt, Maryland
Organized by the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, U. Maryland.

Eric Saund, David Fleet, James Mahoney, Daniel Larner
Palo Alto Research Center


Not all document images of interest are comprised of properly scanned, cleanly printed text in a known language, formatted according to standard layout conventions. We are often interested in the content of {\it rough documents}. Rough documents include handwritten notes, sketches, drawings, annotations, doodles, specialized notations, unconventional layouts, and poorly imaged markings. Despite their unruly diversity, rough documents embody visual structure which is accessible and exploitable by humans by virtue of our powerful perceptual apparatus. We believe that to achieve breadth and depth in interpreting images of rough documents, computer systems will require a foundation of image analysis approximating the human visual stage postulated as Perceptual Organization. This whitepaper motivates and outlines a research program along these lines. A viewpoint that raises the identification of visual perceptual structure as a primary objective helps to open a broader range of tasks for document image analysis, beyond character-to-text transcription.


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