Character Recognition Systems—

A Guide for Students and Practitioners


by Mohamed Cheriet, Nawwaf Kharma, Cheng-Lin Liu, and Ching Y. Suen

Wiley, October 2007


Reviewed by:  Simone Marinai (Italy)

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Character Recognition Systems is a textbook that deeply analyzes the main processing steps required to build a working Document Image Analysis and Recognition (DIAR) system.

The book coverage is not limited to character segmentation and classification, but also covers other fundamental steps in the overall processing chain of a contemporary DIAR system, ranging from pre-processing and feature extraction to the main techniques for word and string recognition. An important feature for readers interested in system integration is the description at the end of the book of three case studies coming from the authors' research. There is also analysis of a form processing system in Chapter 2 that makes use of large-scale optical character recognition (OCR).

The book is comprehensive; all the main algorithms and techniques in the field can be found. This coverage is especially useful for students interested in understanding the basic DIAR algorithms, which are sometimes difficult to find in the current literature. Additionally, the book describes the state-of-the-art in DIAR research. As an example, we can mention the discussion of pre-processing techniques that includes an analysis of the problems with web document processing. Another important feature is the large and updated bibliography included in each chapter.

Besides these positive aspects, there are a very few minor drawbacks that could be improved in future editions. Sometimes while reading the book, I felt that different sections were like watertight compartments, each independent from other sections. For instance, there was sometimes repetition of methods (e.g. the description of skeletonization algorithms) and there are few cross-references among different parts of the book. However, the latter problem is mitigated by the presence of a broad subject index at the end of the book. I felt another minor issue is the deep hierarchical structure of the book with sub-sectioning extending down to a fourth level in some cases.

Despite these limits I would recommend the book as a handy reference for students and academic and industrial researchers working in the DIAR area.


Click above to go to the publisher’s web page where you can find an excerpt from the book, read a description of the book, review the Table of Contents, and read author profiles and additional reviews.

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