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Adaptive Binarization of Unconstrained Hand-Held Camera-Captured Document Images

Syed Saqib Bukhari; Faisal Shafait; Thomas Breuel
In: Journal of Universal Computer Science (JUCS), Vol. 15, Pages 3343-3363, Graz University of Technology, Institut für Informationssysteme und Computer Medien, 2009.


This paper presents a new adaptive binarization technique for degraded hand-held camera-captured document images. The state-of-the-art locally adaptive bi-narization methods are sensitive to the values of free parameter. This problem is more critical when binarizing degraded camera-captured document images because of distor-tions like non-uniform illumination, bad shading, blurring, smearing and low resolution. We demonstrate in this paper that local binarization methods are not only sensitive to the selection of free parameters values (either found manually or automatically), but also sensitive to the constant free parameters values for all pixels of a document image. Some range of values of free parameters are better for foreground regions and some other range of values are better for background regions. For overcoming this prob-lem, we present an adaptation of a state-of-the-art local binarization method such that two different set of free parameters values are used for foreground and background regions respectively. We present the use of ridges detection for rough estimation of foreground regions in a document image. This information is then used to calculate ap-propriate threshold using different set of free parameters values for the foreground and background regions respectively. The evaluation of the method using an OCR-based measure and a pixel-based measure show that our method achieves better performance as compared to state-of-the-art global and local binarization methods.