Models, code, and papers for "Minghui Liao":

TextBoxes++: A Single-Shot Oriented Scene Text Detector

Apr 27, 2018
Minghui Liao, Baoguang Shi, Xiang Bai

Scene text detection is an important step of scene text recognition system and also a challenging problem. Different from general object detection, the main challenges of scene text detection lie on arbitrary orientations, small sizes, and significantly variant aspect ratios of text in natural images. In this paper, we present an end-to-end trainable fast scene text detector, named TextBoxes++, which detects arbitrary-oriented scene text with both high accuracy and efficiency in a single network forward pass. No post-processing other than an efficient non-maximum suppression is involved. We have evaluated the proposed TextBoxes++ on four public datasets. In all experiments, TextBoxes++ outperforms competing methods in terms of text localization accuracy and runtime. More specifically, TextBoxes++ achieves an f-measure of 0.817 at 11.6fps for 1024*1024 ICDAR 2015 Incidental text images, and an f-measure of 0.5591 at 19.8fps for 768*768 COCO-Text images. Furthermore, combined with a text recognizer, TextBoxes++ significantly outperforms the state-of-the-art approaches for word spotting and end-to-end text recognition tasks on popular benchmarks. Code is available at:

* IEEE Transactions on Image Processing 27 (2018) 3676-3690 
* 15 pages 

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Real-time Scene Text Detection with Differentiable Binarization

Dec 03, 2019
Minghui Liao, Zhaoyi Wan, Cong Yao, Kai Chen, Xiang Bai

Recently, segmentation-based methods are quite popular in scene text detection, as the segmentation results can more accurately describe scene text of various shapes such as curve text. However, the post-processing of binarization is essential for segmentation-based detection, which converts probability maps produced by a segmentation method into bounding boxes/regions of text. In this paper, we propose a module named Differentiable Binarization (DB), which can perform the binarization process in a segmentation network. Optimized along with a DB module, a segmentation network can adaptively set the thresholds for binarization, which not only simplifies the post-processing but also enhances the performance of text detection. Based on a simple segmentation network, we validate the performance improvements of DB on five benchmark datasets, which consistently achieves state-of-the-art results, in terms of both detection accuracy and speed. In particular, with a light-weight backbone, the performance improvements by DB are significant so that we can look for an ideal tradeoff between detection accuracy and efficiency. Specifically, with a backbone of ResNet-18, our detector achieves an F-measure of 82.8, running at 62 FPS, on the MSRA-TD500 dataset. Code is available at:

* Accepted to AAAI 2020 

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Mask TextSpotter: An End-to-End Trainable Neural Network for Spotting Text with Arbitrary Shapes

Aug 01, 2018
Pengyuan Lyu, Minghui Liao, Cong Yao, Wenhao Wu, Xiang Bai

Recently, models based on deep neural networks have dominated the fields of scene text detection and recognition. In this paper, we investigate the problem of scene text spotting, which aims at simultaneous text detection and recognition in natural images. An end-to-end trainable neural network model for scene text spotting is proposed. The proposed model, named as Mask TextSpotter, is inspired by the newly published work Mask R-CNN. Different from previous methods that also accomplish text spotting with end-to-end trainable deep neural networks, Mask TextSpotter takes advantage of simple and smooth end-to-end learning procedure, in which precise text detection and recognition are acquired via semantic segmentation. Moreover, it is superior to previous methods in handling text instances of irregular shapes, for example, curved text. Experiments on ICDAR2013, ICDAR2015 and Total-Text demonstrate that the proposed method achieves state-of-the-art results in both scene text detection and end-to-end text recognition tasks.

* To appear in ECCV 2018 

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TextBoxes: A Fast Text Detector with a Single Deep Neural Network

Nov 21, 2016
Minghui Liao, Baoguang Shi, Xiang Bai, Xinggang Wang, Wenyu Liu

This paper presents an end-to-end trainable fast scene text detector, named TextBoxes, which detects scene text with both high accuracy and efficiency in a single network forward pass, involving no post-process except for a standard non-maximum suppression. TextBoxes outperforms competing methods in terms of text localization accuracy and is much faster, taking only 0.09s per image in a fast implementation. Furthermore, combined with a text recognizer, TextBoxes significantly outperforms state-of-the-art approaches on word spotting and end-to-end text recognition tasks.

* Accepted by AAAI2017 

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SynthText3D: Synthesizing Scene Text Images from 3D Virtual Worlds

Jul 13, 2019
Minghui Liao, Boyu Song, Minghang He, Shangbang Long, Cong Yao, Xiang Bai

With the development of deep neural networks, the demand for a significant amount of annotated training data becomes the performance bottlenecks in many fields of research and applications. Image synthesis can generate annotated images automatically and freely, which gains increasing attention recently. In this paper, we propose to synthesize scene text images from the 3D virtual worlds, where the precise descriptions of scenes, editable illumination/visibility, and realistic physics are provided. Different from the previous methods which paste the rendered text on static 2D images, our method can render the 3D virtual scene and text instances as an entirety. In this way, complex perspective transforms, various illuminations, and occlusions can be realized in our synthesized scene text images. Moreover, the same text instances with various viewpoints can be produced by randomly moving and rotating the virtual camera, which acts as human eyes. The experiments on the standard scene text detection benchmarks using the generated synthetic data demonstrate the effectiveness and superiority of the proposed method. The code and synthetic data will be made available at

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Rotation-Sensitive Regression for Oriented Scene Text Detection

Mar 14, 2018
Minghui Liao, Zhen Zhu, Baoguang Shi, Gui-song Xia, Xiang Bai

Text in natural images is of arbitrary orientations, requiring detection in terms of oriented bounding boxes. Normally, a multi-oriented text detector often involves two key tasks: 1) text presence detection, which is a classification problem disregarding text orientation; 2) oriented bounding box regression, which concerns about text orientation. Previous methods rely on shared features for both tasks, resulting in degraded performance due to the incompatibility of the two tasks. To address this issue, we propose to perform classification and regression on features of different characteristics, extracted by two network branches of different designs. Concretely, the regression branch extracts rotation-sensitive features by actively rotating the convolutional filters, while the classification branch extracts rotation-invariant features by pooling the rotation-sensitive features. The proposed method named Rotation-sensitive Regression Detector (RRD) achieves state-of-the-art performance on three oriented scene text benchmark datasets, including ICDAR 2015, MSRA-TD500, RCTW-17 and COCO-Text. Furthermore, RRD achieves a significant improvement on a ship collection dataset, demonstrating its generality on oriented object detection.

* accepted by CVPR 2018 

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Symmetry-constrained Rectification Network for Scene Text Recognition

Aug 06, 2019
MingKun Yang, Yushuo Guan, Minghui Liao, Xin He, Kaigui Bian, Song Bai, Cong Yao, Xiang Bai

Reading text in the wild is a very challenging task due to the diversity of text instances and the complexity of natural scenes. Recently, the community has paid increasing attention to the problem of recognizing text instances with irregular shapes. One intuitive and effective way to handle this problem is to rectify irregular text to a canonical form before recognition. However, these methods might struggle when dealing with highly curved or distorted text instances. To tackle this issue, we propose in this paper a Symmetry-constrained Rectification Network (ScRN) based on local attributes of text instances, such as center line, scale and orientation. Such constraints with an accurate description of text shape enable ScRN to generate better rectification results than existing methods and thus lead to higher recognition accuracy. Our method achieves state-of-the-art performance on text with both regular and irregular shapes. Specifically, the system outperforms existing algorithms by a large margin on datasets that contain quite a proportion of irregular text instances, e.g., ICDAR 2015, SVT-Perspective and CUTE80.

* The paper was accepted to ICCV2019 

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Scene Text Recognition from Two-Dimensional Perspective

Sep 18, 2018
Minghui Liao, Jian Zhang, Zhaoyi Wan, Fengming Xie, Jiajun Liang, Pengyuan Lyu, Cong Yao, Xiang Bai

Inspired by speech recognition, recent state-of-the-art algorithms mostly consider scene text recognition as a sequence prediction problem. Though achieving excellent performance, these methods usually neglect an important fact that text in images are actually distributed in two-dimensional space. It is a nature quite different from that of speech, which is essentially a one-dimensional signal. In principle, directly compressing features of text into a one-dimensional form may lose useful information and introduce extra noise. In this paper, we approach scene text recognition from a two-dimensional perspective. A simple yet effective model, called Character Attention Fully Convolutional Network (CA-FCN), is devised for recognizing text of arbitrary shapes. Scene text recognition is realized with a semantic segmentation network, where an attention mechanism for characters is adopted. Combined with a word formation module, CA-FCN can simultaneously recognize the script and predict the position of each character. Experiments demonstrate that the proposed algorithm outperforms previous methods on both regular and irregular text datasets. Moreover, it is proven to be more robust to imprecise localizations in the text detection phase, which are very common in practice.

* 9 pages, 7 figures 

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ICDAR2017 Competition on Reading Chinese Text in the Wild (RCTW-17)

Sep 26, 2018
Baoguang Shi, Cong Yao, Minghui Liao, Mingkun Yang, Pei Xu, Linyan Cui, Serge Belongie, Shijian Lu, Xiang Bai

Chinese is the most widely used language in the world. Algorithms that read Chinese text in natural images facilitate applications of various kinds. Despite the large potential value, datasets and competitions in the past primarily focus on English, which bares very different characteristics than Chinese. This report introduces RCTW, a new competition that focuses on Chinese text reading. The competition features a large-scale dataset with 12,263 annotated images. Two tasks, namely text localization and end-to-end recognition, are set up. The competition took place from January 20 to May 31, 2017. 23 valid submissions were received from 19 teams. This report includes dataset description, task definitions, evaluation protocols, and results summaries and analysis. Through this competition, we call for more future research on the Chinese text reading problem. The official website for the competition is

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