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Conference Report:  ICDAR 2011

Report prepared by Cheng-Lin Liu (China)

Text Box: 11th International Conference on 
Document Analysis and Recognition 

September 18-21, 2011
Beijing, China
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Proceedings of the conference have been published by IEEE


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ICDAR2011 Proceedings

The 11th International Conference on Document Analysis and Recognition (ICDAR 2011) was held at the Beijing Friendship Hotel in Beijing, China. ICDAR is the major event sponsored by the IAPR Technical Committees TC-10 (Graphics Recognition) and TC-11 (Reading Systems). ICDAR 2011 was co-hosted by the Tsinghua University and the Institute of Automation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). It was financially sponsored by the IAPR, the CAS, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), and 10 companies in China and around the world. The International Scientific Exchange Center of the CAS ran the secretariat and performed the local arrangements very smoothly. The conference attracted the participation of 387 registrants, including 88 delegates from industry.


The venue of ICDAR 2011 deserves a special mention because of its garden-like environment and its conduciveness to scientific conferences. The Beijing Friendship covers a total area of 335,000 square meters of land, of which 200,000 square meters are landscaped in the traditional Chinese garden style. It has conference rooms of variable sizes, hotels of different ranks, and restaurants on the campus. The plenary sessions of ICDAR 2011 were held in the Ballroom of the Friendship Palace, which is 800 square meters, and three parallel oral sessions were held in the Ballroom as well as in two meeting rooms in a nearby building.

Technical Program

ICDAR 2011 received 422 submissions. The technical committee chairs invited 79 program committee members and 194 additional reviewers to review the submissions. Almost every submission received three reviews. Based on the reviews, 90 papers were accepted for oral presentation and 188 papers were accepted for poster presentation. The Proceedings were published by the IEEE Computer Society, and electronic proceedings (USB drives) were provided to the participants. The oral papers were presented in 18 oral sessions in six time slots. The poster papers were presented in three poster sessions. The biggest topics of accepted papers were document image processing and character recognition. Some emerging topics such as text extraction, handwritten text recognition, document retrieval, video and camera-based OCR, also received significant submissions. Other topics include document segmentation and layout analysis, online handwriting recognition and pen-based interfaces, databases and performance evaluation, information extraction, graphics and symbol recognition, writer identification, table forms and mathematics recognition, web and multimedia documents, and various applications.

In addition to the regular paper sessions, there were five plenary sessions (an award session, three invited keynote speeches, and a panel discussion) and three parallel competition sessions. Prof. Sargur Srihari, IAPR Fellow (University of Buffalo, SUNY) received the IAPR/ICDAR Outstanding Achievements Award for his outstanding and continued contributions to research and education in handwriting recognition and document analysis, and services to the community. He gave a speech titled “Probabilistic Graphical Models in Machine Learning” at the award session following the opening ceremony. Three keynote speeches were given by Prof. Henry Baird, IAPR Fellow (Lehigh University, title “Document Recognition without Strong Models”), Prof. Wen Xing (Dartmouth College, title “Chinese Paleography, Calligraphy and Pattern Recognition: Styles and Scripts in Excavated Ancient Chinese Documents”), and Marc Wilhelm Küster (University of Applied Sciences Worms, title “The Four and a Half Challenges of Humanities Data”). The panel discussion invited five professors (led by Prof. Ching Suen, IAPR Fellow) to present progress and prospects of font design, evaluation, and applications in digital publishing and display. The competition sessions were held in the time slot before the closing ceremony, to present the organization and results of 16 competitions, and present certificates to the winners.

Social Program

All the registrants were invited to attend the welcome reception and the banquet, both in the Friendship Palace. There were some award ceremonies, announcements and entertainments at the banquet. The TC-10 chair, on behalf of the ICDAR advisory committee, presented the IAPR/ICDAR Young Investigator Award to Dr. Masakazu Iwamura (Osaka Prefecture University, Japan). The general chairs of ICDAR 2011 presented outstanding service awards to the program chairs (Chew Lim Tan, Daniel Lopresti, Thomas Breuel) and the executive chairs (Cheng-Lin Liu, Changsong Liu) for their excellent organization efforts. On behalf of the advisory committee, the TC-11 chair announced that Tunis of Tunisia was selected as the host of ICDAR 2015 based on voting by the ICDAR 2011 participants at the joint TC-10/TC-11 meeting on the previous day. The organizers of ICDAR 2015, ICDAR 2013 (Washington DC, USA), DAS 2012 (Queesland, Australia) and ICFHR 2012 (Bari, Italy) presented their welcome messages. The entertainments included Chinese folk music shows, acrobatics (contortion, jar balancing), Sichuan opera action “change face”, and Beijing opera selections.

The secretariat also organized a pre-conference tour to the Great Wall, a post-conference tour to the Forbidden City, and several city tours during the conference for accompanying persons. A technical tour was also organized to visit the Institute of Automation of CAS and Tsinghua University, where pattern recognition research has been intensively performed.


Prof. Sargur Srihari received the IAPR/ICDAR Outstanding Achievements Award of 2011 and was presented the certificate at the award session following the opening ceremony. Dr. Masakazu Iwamura (Osaka Prefecture University, Japan) from Japan received the IAPR/ICDAR Young Investigator Award and was presented the certificate at the banquet. Based on evaluation of review scores and presentation quality by committees led by the program chairs, four paper awards were announced and presented certificates and prizes at the closing ceremony. The paper awards and the recipients are as follows:

IAPR Best Paper Award: Marçal Rusiñol, David Aldavert, Ricardo Toledo and Josep Llados, “Browsing Heterogeneous Document Collections by a Segmentation-free Word Spotting Method”

IAPR Best Poster Award: Da-Han Wang and Cheng-Lin Liu, “Dynamic Text Line Segmentation for Real-Time Recognition of Chinese Handwritten Sentences”

ITESOFT Best Student Paper Award: Adam Coates, Blake Carpenter, Carl Case, Sanjeev Satheesh, Bipin Suresh, Tao Wang and Andrew Ng, “Text Detection and Character Recognition in Scene Images with Unsupervised Feature Learning”

Nuance Best Industrial Paper Award: Ray Smith, “Limits on the Application of Frequency-based Language Models to OCR”

In addition, the paper of Bart Lamiroy and Daniel Lopresti, “An Open Architecture for End-to-End Document Analysis Benchmarking”, was specially mentioned as a runner-up to the best paper.

Satellite Events

Four workshops were held jointly with ICDAR 2011:  the Joint Workshop on Multilingual OCR and Analytics for Noisy Unstructured Text Data (J-MOCR-AND), the International Workshop on Historical Document Imaging and Processing (HIP), the First International Workshop on Automated Forensic Handwriting Analysis (AFHA), and the Fourth International Workshop on Camera-Based Document Analysis and Recognition (CBDAR 2011). There were also six tutorials on different topics of document analysis, including handwriting recognition, ancient document analysis, sequence recognition, administrative document analysis, Ebooks, and performance evaluation.

At ICDAR 2011, TC-10 and TC-11 organized the first-ever Doctoral Consortium in this field. 21 doctoral students presented their research in oral and poster, and 19 mentors (who are established researchers in the field) participated in discussions.


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talks given by the


Invited Speakers


IAPR Distinguished Speakers


Henry Baird, IAPR Fellow