WeText: Scene Text Detection Under Weak Supervision

Shangxuan Tian, Shijian Lu, Chongshou Li; The IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2017, pp. 1492-1500


The requiring of large amounts of annotated training data has become a common constraint on various deep learning systems. In this paper, we propose a weakly supervised scene text detection method (WeText) that trains robust and accurate scene text detection models by learning from unannotated or weakly annotated data. With a "light" supervised model trained on a small fully annotated dataset, we explore semi-supervised and weakly supervised learning on a large unannotated dataset and a large weakly annotated dataset, respectively. For the unsupervised learning, the light supervised model is applied to the unannotated dataset to search for more character training samples, which are further combined with the small annotated dataset to retrain a superior character detection model. For the weakly supervised learning, the character searching is guided by high-level annotations of words/text lines that are widely available and also much easier to prepare. In addition, we design an unified scene character detector by adapting regression based deep networks, which greatly relieves the error accumulation issue that widely exists in most traditional approaches. Extensive experiments across different unannotated and weakly annotated datasets show that the scene text detection performance can be clearly boosted under both scenarios, where the weakly supervised learning can achieve the state-of-the-art performance by using only 229 fully annotated scene text images.

Related Material

author = {Tian, Shangxuan and Lu, Shijian and Li, Chongshou},
title = {WeText: Scene Text Detection Under Weak Supervision},
booktitle = {The IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)},
month = {Oct},
year = {2017}