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Scene Text Telescope: Text-Focused Scene Image Super-Resolution
Image super-resolution, which is often regarded as a preprocessing procedure of scene text recognition, aims to recover the realistic features from a low-resolution text image. It has always been challenging due to large variations in text shapes, fonts, backgrounds, etc. However, most existing methods employ generic super-resolution frameworks to handle scene text images while ignoring text-specific properties such as text-level layouts and character-level details. In this paper, we establish a text-focused super-resolution framework, called Scene Text Telescope (STT). In terms of text-level layouts, we propose a Transformer-Based Super-Resolution Network (TBSRN) containing a Self-Attention Module to extract sequential information, which is robust to tackle the texts in arbitrary orientations. In terms of character-level details, we propose a Position-Aware Module and a Content-Aware Module to highlight the position and the content of each character. By observing that some characters look indistinguishable in low-resolution conditions, we use a weighted cross-entropy loss to tackle this problem. We conduct extensive experiments, including text recognition with pre-trained recognizers and image quality evaluation, on TextZoom and several scene text recognition benchmarks to assess the super-resolution images. The experimental results show that our STT can indeed generate text-focused super-resolution images and outperform the existing methods in terms of recognition accuracy.