Abstract: Deep learning-based approaches for automatic document layout analysis and content extraction have the potential to unlock rich information trapped in historical documents on a large scale. One major hurdle is the lack of large datasets for training robust models. In particular, little training data exist for Asian languages. To this end, we present HJDataset, a Large Dataset of Historical Japanese Documents with Complex Layouts. It contains over 250,000 layout element annotations of seven types. In addition to bounding boxes and masks of the content regions, it also includes the hierarchical structures and reading orders for layout elements. The dataset is constructed using a combination of human and machine efforts. A semi-rule based method is developed to extract the layout elements, and the results are checked by human inspectors. The resulting large-scale dataset is used to provide baseline performance analyses for text region detection using state-of-the-art deep learning models. And we demonstrate the usefulness of the dataset on real-world document digitization tasks.
Authors: Zejiang Shen, Kaixuan Zhang, Melissa Dell (Harvard University)