AE TextSpotter: Learning Visual and Linguistic Representation for Ambiguous Text Spotting
Scene text spotting aims to detect and recognize the entire word or sentence with multiple characters in natural images. It is still challenging because ambiguity often occurs when the spacing between characters is large or the characters are evenly spread in multiple rows and columns, making many visually plausible groupings of the characters (e.g. ""BERLIN"" is incorrectly detected as ""BERL"" and ""IN"" in Fig. 1(c)). Unlike previous works that merely employed visual features for text detection, this work proposes a novel text spotter, named Ambiguity Eliminating Text Spotter (AE TextSpotter), which learns both visual and linguistic features to significantly reduce ambiguity in text detection. The proposed AE TextSpotter has three important benefits. 1) A carefully designed language module is utilized to reduce the detection confidence of incorrect text lines, making them easily pruned in the detection stage. 2) The linguistic representation is learned together with the visual representation in a framework. To our knowledge, it is the first time to improve text detection by using a language model. 3) Extensive experiments show that AE TextSpotter outperforms other state-of-the-art methods by a large margin. For example, we carefully select a set of extremely ambiguous samples from the IC19-ReCTS dataset, where our approach surpasses other methods by more than 4%."