Automatic cataloguing and searching for retrospective data by use of OCR text

Yuen Hsien Tseng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This article describes our efforts in supporting information retrieval from OCR degraded text. In particular, we report our approach to an automatic cataloging and searching contest for books in multiple languages. In this contest, 500 books in English, German, French, and Italian published during the 1770s to 1970s are scanned into images and OCRed to digital text. The goal is to use only automatic ways to extract information for sophisticated searching. We adopted the vector space retrieval model, an n-gram indexing method, and a special weighting scheme to tackle this problem. Although the performance by this approach is slightly inferior to the best approach, which is mainly based on regular expression match, one advantage of our approach is that it is less language dependent and less layout sensitive, thus is readily applicable to other languages and document collections. Problems of OCR text retrieval for some Asian languages are also discussed in this article, and solutions are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-390
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Mar
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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