Convolutional Character Networks

Linjie Xing, Zhi Tian, Weilin Huang, Matthew R. Scott; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2019, pp. 9126-9136


Recent progress has been made on developing a unified framework for joint text detection and recognition in natural images, but existing joint models were mostly built on two-stage framework by involving ROI pooling, which can degrade the performance on recognition task. In this work, we propose convolutional character networks, referred as CharNet, which is an one-stage model that can process two tasks simultaneously in one pass. CharNet directly outputs bounding boxes of words and characters, with corresponding character labels. We utilize character as basic element, allowing us to overcome the main difficulty of existing approaches that attempted to optimize text detection jointly with a RNN-based recognition branch. In addition, we develop an iterative character detection approach able to transform the ability of character detection learned from synthetic data to real-world images. These technical improvements result in a simple, compact, yet powerful one-stage model that works reliably on multi-orientation and curved text. We evaluate CharNet on three standard benchmarks, where it consistently outperforms the state-of-the-art approaches [25, 24] by a large margin, e.g., with improvements of 65.33%->71.08% (with generic lexicon) on ICDAR 2015, and 54.0%->69.23% on Total-Text, on end-to-end text recognition. Code is available at:

Related Material

author = {Xing, Linjie and Tian, Zhi and Huang, Weilin and Scott, Matthew R.},
title = {Convolutional Character Networks},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)},
month = {October},
year = {2019}