Effect of OCR error correction on Arabic retrieval

Walid Magdy, Kareem Darwish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Arabic documents that are available only in print continue to be ubiquitous and they can be scanned and subsequently OCR’ed to ease their retrieval. This paper explores the effect of context-based OCR correction on the effectiveness of retrieving Arabic OCR documents using different index terms. Different OCR correction techniques based on language modeling with different correction abilities were tested on real OCR and synthetic OCR degradation. Results show that the reduction of word error rates needs to pass a certain limit to get a noticeable effect on retrieval. If only moderate error reduction is available, then using short character n-gram for retrieval without error correction is not a bad strategy. Word-based correction in conjunction with language modeling had a statistically significant impact on retrieval even for character 3-grams, which are known to be among the best index terms for OCR degraded Arabic text. Further, using a sufficiently large language model for correction can minimize the need for morphologically sensitive error correction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-425
Number of pages21
JournalInformation Retrieval
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2008

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