HHD-Ethiopic A Historical Handwritten Dataset for Ethiopic OCR with Baseline Models and Human-level Performance - Inria - Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies du numérique Access content directly
Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2023

HHD-Ethiopic A Historical Handwritten Dataset for Ethiopic OCR with Baseline Models and Human-level Performance

Abstract

This paper introduces HHD-Ethiopic, a new OCR dataset for historical handwritten Ethiopic script, characterized by a unique syllabic writing system, low resource availability, and complex orthographic diacritics. The dataset consists of roughly 80,000 annotated text-line images from 1700 pages of 18 th to 20 th century documents, including a training set with text-line images from the 19 th to 20 th century and two test sets. One is distributed similarly to the training set with nearly 6,000 text-line images, and the other contains only images from the 18 th century manuscripts, with around 16,000 images. The former test set allows us to check baseline performance in the classical IID setting (Independently and Identically Distributed), while the latter addresses a more realistic setting in which the test set is drawn from a different distribution than the training set (Out-Of-Distribution or OOD). Multiple annotators labeled all text-line images for the HHD-Ethiopic dataset, and an expert supervisor double-checked them. We assessed human-level recognition performance and compared it with state-of-the-art (SOTA) OCR models using the Character Error Rate (CER) and Normalized Edit Distance(NED) metrics. Our results show that the model performed comparably to human-level recognition on the 18 th century test set and outperformed humans on the IID test set. However, the unique challenges posed by the Ethiopic script, such as detecting complex diacritics, still present difficulties for the models. Our baseline evaluation and HHD-Ethiopic dataset will encourage further research on Ethiopic script recognition. The dataset and source code can be accessed at https://github.com/bdu-birhanu/HHD-Ethiopic.
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Dates and versions

hal-04223188 , version 1 (06-10-2023)

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  • HAL Id : hal-04223188 , version 1

Cite

Birhanu Hailu Belay, Isabelle Guyon, Tadele Mengiste, Bezawork Tilahun, Marcus Liwicki, et al.. HHD-Ethiopic A Historical Handwritten Dataset for Ethiopic OCR with Baseline Models and Human-level Performance. 2023. ⟨hal-04223188⟩
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