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Contributed Talk
Workshop: Machine Learning for the Developing World (ML4D): Global Challenges

Leveraging machine learning for less developed languages: Progress on Urdu text detection.

Hazrat Ali


Text detection in natural scene images has applications for autonomous driving, navigation help for elderly and blind people. However, the research on Urdu text detection is usually hindered by lack of data resources. We have developed a dataset of scene images with Urdu text. We present the use of machine learning methods to perform detection Urdu text from the scene images. We extract text regions using channel enhanced Maximally Stable Extremal Region (MSER) method. First, we classify text and noise based on their geometric properties. Next, we use a support vector machine for early discarding of non-text regions. To further remove the non-text regions, we use histogram of oriented gradients (HoG) features obtained and train a second SVM classifier. This improves the overall performance on text region detection within the scene images. To support research on Urdu text, We aim to make the data freely available for research use. We also aim to highlight the challenges and the research gap for Urdu text detection.

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