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Encyclopedia > Optical Character Recognition
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Optical character recognition, usually abbreviated to OCR, is a type of computer software designed to translate images of handwritten or typewritten text (usually captured by a scanner) into machine-editable text, or to translate pictures of characters into a standard encoding scheme representing them (e.g. ASCII or Unicode). OCR began as a field of research in pattern recognition, artificial intelligence and machine vision. Though academic research in the field continues, the focus on OCR has shifted to implementation of proven techniques. An example of a web browser (Internet Explorer), displaying the English Wikipedia main page. ... The NASA Columbia Supercomputer. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into image (disambiguation). ... In computing, a scanner is a device that analyzes an image, printed text, or handwriting, or an object (such as an ornament) and converts it to a digital image. ... Image:ASCII fullsvg There are 95 printable ASCII characters, numbered 32 to 126. ... Unicode is an industry standard designed to allow text and symbols from all of the writing systems of the world to be consistently represented and manipulated by computers. ... Pattern recognition is a field within the area of machine learning. ... Garry Kasparov playing against Deep Blue, the first machine to win a chess game against a reigning world champion. ... Machine vision (MV) is the application of computer vision to industry and manufacturing. ...

Optical character recognition (using optical techniques such as mirrors and lenses) and digital character recognition (using scanners and computer algorithms) were originally considered separate fields. Because very few applications survive that use true optical techniques, the optical character recognition term has now been broadened to cover digital character recognition as well.

Early systems required training (the provision of known samples of each character) to read a specific font. "Intelligent" systems with a high degree of recognition accuracy for most fonts are now common. Some systems are even capable of reproducing formatted output that closely approximates the original scanned page including images, columns and other non-textual components. For the origin and evolution of fonts, see History of western typography. ...



In 1929, Gustav Tauschek obtained a patent on OCR in Germany, followed by Handel who obtained a US patent on OCR in USA in 1933 (U.S. Patent 1,915,993). In 1935 Tauschek was also granted a US patent on his method (U.S. Patent 2,026,329). The United States patent law is a first-to-invent patent legal framework in contrast to all other national patent laws. ...

Tauschek's machine was a mechanical device that used templates. A photodetector was placed so that when the template and the character to be recognised were lined up for an exact match and a light was directed towards them, no light would reach the photodetector. Photosensors or photodetectors appear in several varieties: Photoresistors or Light Dependant Resistors (LDR) which change resistance when illuminated Photovoltaic cells or solar cells which produce a voltage and supply an electric current when illuminated Photodiodes which can operate in photovoltaic mode or photoconductive mode Phototubes containing a photocathode which emits...

In 1950, David Shepard, a cryptanalyst at the Armed Forces Security Agency in the United States, was asked by Frank Rowlett, who had broken the Japanese PURPLE diplomatic code, to work with Dr. Louis Tordella to recommend data automation procedures for the Agency. This included the problem of converting printed messages into machine language for computer processing. Shepard decided it must be possible to build a machine to do this, and, with the help of Harvey Cook, a friend, built "Gismo" in his attic during evenings and weekends. This was reported in the Washington Daily News on April 27, 1951 and in the New York Times on December 26, 1953 after his U.S. Patent Number 2,663,758 was issued. Shepard then founded Intelligent Machines Research Corporation (IMR), which went on to deliver the world's first several OCR systems used in commercial operation. While both Gismo and the later IMR systems used image analysis, as opposed to character matching, and could accept some font variation, Gismo was limited to reasonably close vertical registration, whereas the following commercial IMR scanners analyzed characters anywhere in the scanned field, a practical necessity on real world documents. This article is about the US government agency. ... Frank Rowlett. ... A fragment of an actual Purple machine found in Berlin at the end of WWII In the history of cryptography, 97-shiki-obun In-ji-ki (九七式欧文印字機) (System 97 Printing Machine for European Characters) or Angooki Taipu B (暗号機B&#22411... April 27 is the 117th day of the year (118th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 248 days remaining. ... Year 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 360th day of the year (361st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Intelligent Machines Research Corporation(IMR) was founded by David Shepard and William Lawless, Jr. ...

The first commercial system was installed at the Readers Digest in 1955, which, many years later, was donated by Readers Digest to the Smithsonian, where it was put on display. The second system was sold to the Standard Oil Company of California for reading credit card imprints for billing purposes, with many more systems sold to other oil companies. Other systems sold by IMR during the late 1950s included a bill stub reader to the Ohio Bell Telephone Company and a page scanner to the United States Air Force for reading and transmitting by teletype typewritten messages. IBM and others were later licensed on Shepard's OCR patents. The cover of the May 2004 issue of Readers Digest. ... The Smithsonian castle, as seen through the garden gate. ... Standard Oil (Esso) was a predominant integrated oil producing, transporting, refining, and marketing company. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... Credit cards A credit card is a system of payment named after the small plastic card issued to users of the system. ... The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial warfare branch of the United States armed forces and one of the seven uniformed services. ... International Business Machines Corporation (known as IBM or Big Blue; NYSE: IBM) is a multinational computer technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, USA. The company is one of the few information technology companies with a continuous history dating back to the 19th century. ...

The United States Postal Service has been using OCR machines to sort mail since 1965 based on technology devised primarily by the prolific inventor Jacob Rabinow. The first use of OCR in Europe was by the British General Post Office or GPO. In 1965 it began planning an entire banking system, the National Giro, using OCR technology, a process that revolutionized bill payment systems in the UK. Canada Post has been using OCR systems since 1971. OCR systems read the name and address of the addressee at the first mechanized sorting center, and print a routing bar code on the envelope based on the postal code. After that the letters need only be sorted at later centers by less expensive sorters which need only read the bar code. To avoid interference with the human-readable address field which can be located anywhere on the letter, special ink is used that is clearly visible under ultraviolet light. This ink looks orange in normal lighting conditions. Envelopes marked with the machine readable bar code may then be processed. The United States Postal Service (USPS) is an independent establishment of the executive branch of the United States government (see 39 U.S.C. Â§ 201) responsible for providing postal service in the U.S. Within the United States, it is colloquially referred to simply as the post office. ... Jacob Rabinow (1910 - 1999) was an engineer who led a truly prolific career as an inventor. ... The British General Post Office (GPO) was officially established in 1660 by Charles II and it eventually grew to combine the functions of both the state postal system and telecommunications carrier. ... Girobank (originally founded as the National Giro) was a British financial institution which began operations in 1968. ... Canada Post logo Canada Post (French: Postes Canada) is a Canadian postal service operated as an independent crown corporation. ... Postal codes are generally clearly visible outside local Australian post offices. ... Wikipedia encoded in Code 128_B A barcode (also bar code) is a machine-readable representation of information in a visual format on a surface. ... Note: Ultraviolet is also the name of a 1998 UK television miniseries about vampires. ... The term machine-readable (or computer-readable) refers to information encoded in a form which can be read (i. ...

Current state of OCR technology

The accurate recognition of Latin-script, typewritten text is now considered largely a solved problem. Typical accuracy rates exceed 99%, although certain applications demanding even higher accuracy require human review for errors. The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. ...

Recognition of hand printing, cursive handwriting, and even the printed typewritten versions of some other scripts (especially those with a very large number of characters), is still the subject of active research.

Systems for recognizing hand-printed text on the fly have enjoyed commercial success in recent years. Among these are the input device for personal digital assistants such as those running Palm OS. The Apple Newton pioneered this technology. The algorithms used in these devices take advantage of the fact that the order, speed, and direction of individual lines segments at input are known. Also, the user can be retrained to use only specific letter shapes. These methods cannot be used in software that scans paper documents, so accurate recognition of hand-printed documents is still largely an open problem. Accuracy rates of 80% to 90% on neat, clean hand-printed characters can be achieved, but that accuracy rate still translates to dozens of errors per page, making the technology useful only in very limited contexts. This variety of OCR is now commonly known in the industry as ICR, or Intelligent Character Recognition. It has been suggested that on-line handwriting recognition be merged into this article or section. ... Personal digital assistants (PDAs) are handheld computers that were originally designed as personal organizers, but became much more versatile over the years. ... Palm OS is a compact operating system developed and licensed by PalmSource, Inc. ... // Bold textBold textItalic text It has been suggested that Apple Newton Software be merged into this article or section. ... Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) is an advanced OCR system that allows fonts and different styles of hand writing to be learned by a computer during processing to improve accuracy and recognition levels. ...

Recognition of cursive text is an active area of research, with recognition rates even lower than that of hand-printed text. Higher rates of recognition of general cursive script will likely not be possible without the use of contextual or grammatical information. For example, recognizing entire words from a dictionary is easier than trying to parse individual characters from script. Reading the Amount line of a cheque (which is always a written-out number) is an example where using a smaller dictionary can increase recognition rates greatly. Knowledge of the grammar of the language being scanned can also help determine if a word is likely to be a verb or a noun, for example, allowing greater accuracy. The shapes of individual cursive characters themselves simply do not contain enough information to accurately (greater than 98%) recognize all handwritten cursive script. Cursive is any style of handwriting which is designed for writing down notes and letters by hand. ... Example of a Canadian cheque. ...

A particularly difficult problem for computers and humans is that of old church baptismal and marriage records containing mostly names. The pages may be damaged by age, water or fire and the names may be obsolete or contain rare spellings. Another research area is cooperative approaches, where computers assist humans and vice-versa. Computer image processing techniques can assist humans in reading extremely difficult texts such as the Archimedes Palimpsest or the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Archimedes Palimpsest is a palimpsest on parchment in the form of a codex which originally was a copy of an otherwise unknown work of the ancient mathematician, physicist, and engineer Archimedes of Syracuse and other authors. ... Fragments of the scrolls on display at the Archeological Museum, Amman The Dead Sea scrolls (Hebrew: מגילות ים המלח) comprise roughly 825-872 documents, including texts from the Hebrew Bible, discovered between 1947 and 1956 in eleven caves in and around the Wadi Qumran (near the ruins of the ancient settlement of Khirbet...

Generally, for more complex recognition problems neural networks are commonly used as they generally can be made indifferent to both affine and non-linear transformations.[1] An artificial neural network (ANN), often just called a neural network (NN), is an interconnected group of artificial neurons that uses a mathematical model or computational model for information processing based on a connectionist approach to computation. ... For uses in mathematics see: Affine transformation Affine combination Affine geometry Affine space Affine group Affine representation Affine variety Affine scheme Affine cipher This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... To do: 20th century mathematics chaos theory, fractals Lyapunov stability and non-linear control systems non-linear video editing See also: Aleksandr Mikhailovich Lyapunov Dynamical system External links http://www. ...

Music OCR

Main article: Music OCR

Early research into recognition of printed sheet music was performed in the mid 1970s at MIT and other institutions. Successive efforts were made to localize and remove musical staff lines leaving symbols to be recognized and parsed. The first proprietary music-scanning program, MIDISCAN, was released in 1991. Three proprietary products are currently available. At this time, OCR software does not recognize handwritten scores. Music OCR is the application of optical character recognition to interpret sheet music or printed scores into editable and, often, playable form. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979. ... The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private, coeducational research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ...


One area where accuracy and speed of computer input of character information exceeds that of humans is in the area of magnetic ink character recognition, where the error rates range around one read error for every 20,000 to 30,000 checks. Bold textBold textBold textBold textMagnetic Ink Character Recognition, or MICR, colloquially pronounced or sometimes , is a character recognition technology adopted mainly by the banking industry to facilitate the processing of checks. ...

Optical Character Recognition in Unicode

In Unicode, Optical Character Recognition symbol characters are placed in the hexadecimal range 0x2440–0x245F, as shown below (see also Unicode Symbols): Unicode is an industry standard designed to allow text and symbols from all of the writing systems of the world to be consistently represented and manipulated by computers. ... In mathematics and computer science, hexadecimal, base-16, or simply hex, is a numeral system with a radix, or base, of 16, usually written using the symbols 0–9 and A–F, or a–f. ... The following Unicode ranges encode Symbols (as opposed to graphemes): punctuation General Punctuation (2000–206F) Supplemental Punctuation (2E00–2E7F) alphanumeric variants (see also Unicode Latin, Unicode Phonetic Symbols) Superscripts and Subscripts (2070–209F) Letterlike Symbols (2100–214F) Currency Symbols (20A0–20CF) Number Forms (2150–218F) Enclosed Alphanumerics (2460–24FF) arrows...

  Symbol Name  
Symbol's Picture
OCR Hook OCR Chair OCR Fork OCR Inverted Fork OCR Belt Buckle
0x2440 0x2441 0x2442 0x2443 0x2444
Image:U+2440.gif Image:U+2441.gif Image:U+2442.gif Image:U+2443.gif Image:U+2444.gif
OCR Bow Tie OCR Branch Bank Identification OCR Amount Of Check OCR Customer Account Number OCR Dash
0x2445 0x2446 0x2447 0x2448 0x2449
Image:U+2445.gif Image:U+2446.gif Image:U+2447.gif Image:U+2448.gif Image:U+2449.gif
OCR Double Backslash   Classified   Not Defined   Not Defined   Not Defined
0x244A 0x244B 0x244C 0x244D 0x244E
Image:U+244A.gif - - - -

Image File history File links U+2440. ... Image File history File links U+2441. ... Image File history File links U+2442. ... Image File history File links U+2443. ... Image File history File links U+2444. ... Image File history File links U+2445. ... Image File history File links U+2446. ... Image File history File links U+2447. ... Image File history File links U+2448. ... Image File history File links U+2449. ... Image File history File links U+244A.gif‎ Unicode Character from the Optical Character Recognition (2440–245F) block. ...

OCR software

Abbyy is a software house based in Moscow, Russia. ... GOCR (or JOCR) is an open source OCR program, initially written by Jörg Schulenburg. ... Ocrad is an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) program, developed as part of the GNU Project. ... OCRopus is a free document analysis and OCR system released under the Apache License, Version 2. ... Omnipage is a high end OCR tool available from the ScanSoft division of Nuance Communications. ... SmartScore is a music OCR and scorewriter program, written by Musitek Corporation based in Ojai, California. ... In computer software, Tesseract is an optical character recognition engine. ...

See also

The system must be able to deal with different styles of licence plates Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR; see also other names below) is a mass surveillance method that uses optical character recognition on images to read the licence plates on vehicles. ... A barcode reader (or barcode scanner) is a computer peripheral for reading barcodes printed on various surfaces. ... Early CAPTCHAs such as these, generated by the EZ-Gimpy program, were used on Yahoo. ... Computational linguistics is an interdisciplinary field dealing with the statistical and logical modeling of natural language from a computational perspective. ... Computer vision is the science and technology of machines that see. ... Digital image processing is the use of computer algorithms to perform image processing on digital images. ... Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) is an advanced OCR system that allows fonts and different styles of hand writing to be learned by a computer during processing to improve accuracy and recognition levels. ... As a broad subfield of artificial intelligence, machine learning is concerned with the design and development of algorithms and techniques that allow computers to learn. At a general level, there are two types of learning: inductive, and deductive. ... Machine vision (MV) is the application of computer vision to industry and manufacturing. ... Bold textBold textBold textBold textMagnetic Ink Character Recognition, or MICR, colloquially pronounced or sometimes , is a character recognition technology adopted mainly by the banking industry to facilitate the processing of checks. ... Unicode’s Universal Character Set potentially supports over 1 million code points (1,114,112 = 220 + 216 or 17 × 216, hexadecimal 110000) code points. ... Optical mark recognition is the process of capturing data by contrasting reflectivity at predetermined positions on a page. ... Pattern recognition is a field within the area of machine learning. ... Raster to vector software and hardware technology for converting raster graphics to vector graphics are used in a number of fields, most notable in conjunction with CAD and GIS systems. ... Raymond Kurzweil (pronounced: ) (born February 12, 1948) is a pioneer in the fields of optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments. ... Speech recognition (in many contexts also known as automatic speech recognition, computer speech recognition or erroneously as Voice Recognition) is the process of converting a speech signal to a sequence of words, by means of an algorithm implemented as a computer program. ...


  1. ^ http://yann.lecun.com/exdb/lenet/

External links

  • ICDAR, a comprehensive conference on all aspects of document recognition



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