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.

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Detection and recognition of text in natural images are two main problems in the field of computer vision that have a wide variety of applications in analysis of sports videos, autonomous driving, industrial automation, to name a few. They face common challenging problems that are factors in how text is represented and affected by several environmental conditions. The current state-of-the-art scene text detection and/or recognition methods have exploited the witnessed advancement in deep learning architectures and reported a superior accuracy on benchmark datasets when tackling multi-resolution and multi-oriented text. However, there are still several remaining challenges affecting text in the wild images that cause existing methods to underperform due to there models are not able to generalize to unseen data and the insufficient labeled data. Thus, unlike previous surveys in this field, the objectives of this survey are as follows: first, offering the reader not only a review on the recent advancement in scene text detection and recognition, but also presenting the results of conducting extensive experiments using a unified evaluation framework that assesses pre-trained models of the selected methods on challenging cases, and applies the same evaluation criteria on these techniques. Second, identifying several existing challenges for detecting or recognizing text in the wild images, namely, in-plane-rotation, multi-oriented and multi-resolution text, perspective distortion, illumination reflection, partial occlusion, complex fonts, and special characters. Finally, the paper also presents insight into the potential research directions in this field to address some of the mentioned challenges that are still encountering scene text detection and recognition techniques.

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With the rise and development of deep learning, computer vision has been tremendously transformed and reshaped. As an important research area in computer vision, scene text detection and recognition has been inescapably influenced by this wave of revolution, consequentially entering the era of deep learning. In recent years, the community has witnessed substantial advancements in mindset, approach and performance. This survey is aimed at summarizing and analyzing the major changes and significant progresses of scene text detection and recognition in the deep learning era. Through this article, we devote to: (1) introduce new insights and ideas; (2) highlight recent techniques and benchmarks; (3) look ahead into future trends. Specifically, we will emphasize the dramatic differences brought by deep learning and the grand challenges still remained. We expect that this review paper would serve as a reference book for researchers in this field. Related resources are also collected and compiled in our Github repository: https://github.com/Jyouhou/SceneTextPapers.

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Keypoint-based methods are a relatively new paradigm in object detection, eliminating the need for anchor boxes and offering a simplified detection framework. Keypoint-based CornerNet achieves state of the art accuracy among single-stage detectors. However, this accuracy comes at high processing cost. In this work, we tackle the problem of efficient keypoint-based object detection and introduce CornerNet-Lite. CornerNet-Lite is a combination of two efficient variants of CornerNet: CornerNet-Saccade, which uses an attention mechanism to eliminate the need for exhaustively processing all pixels of the image, and CornerNet-Squeeze, which introduces a new compact backbone architecture. Together these two variants address the two critical use cases in efficient object detection: improving efficiency without sacrificing accuracy, and improving accuracy at real-time efficiency. CornerNet-Saccade is suitable for offline processing, improving the efficiency of CornerNet by 6.0x and the AP by 1.0% on COCO. CornerNet-Squeeze is suitable for real-time detection, improving both the efficiency and accuracy of the popular real-time detector YOLOv3 (34.4% AP at 34ms for CornerNet-Squeeze compared to 33.0% AP at 39ms for YOLOv3 on COCO). Together these contributions for the first time reveal the potential of keypoint-based detection to be useful for applications requiring processing efficiency.

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Benefit from the quick development of deep learning techniques, salient object detection has achieved remarkable progresses recently. However, there still exists following two major challenges that hinder its application in embedded devices, low resolution output and heavy model weight. To this end, this paper presents an accurate yet compact deep network for efficient salient object detection. More specifically, given a coarse saliency prediction in the deepest layer, we first employ residual learning to learn side-output residual features for saliency refinement, which can be achieved with very limited convolutional parameters while keep accuracy. Secondly, we further propose reverse attention to guide such side-output residual learning in a top-down manner. By erasing the current predicted salient regions from side-output features, the network can eventually explore the missing object parts and details which results in high resolution and accuracy. Experiments on six benchmark datasets demonstrate that the proposed approach compares favorably against state-of-the-art methods, and with advantages in terms of simplicity, efficiency (45 FPS) and model size (81 MB).

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In this paper, we propose a novel scene text detection method named TextMountain. The key idea of TextMountain is making full use of border-center information. Different from previous works that treat center-border as a binary classification problem, we predict text center-border probability (TCBP) and text center-direction (TCD). The TCBP is just like a mountain whose top is text center and foot is text border. The mountaintop can separate text instances which cannot be easily achieved using semantic segmentation map and its rising direction can plan a road to top for each pixel on mountain foot at the group stage. The TCD helps TCBP learning better. Our label rules will not lead to the ambiguous problem with the transformation of angle, so the proposed method is robust to multi-oriented text and can also handle well with curved text. In inference stage, each pixel at the mountain foot needs to search the path to the mountaintop and this process can be efficiently completed in parallel, yielding the efficiency of our method compared with others. The experiments on MLT, ICDAR2015, RCTW-17 and SCUT-CTW1500 databases demonstrate that the proposed method achieves better or comparable performance in terms of both accuracy and efficiency. It is worth mentioning our method achieves an F-measure of 76.85% on MLT which outperforms the previous methods by a large margin. Code will be made available.

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Feature maps in deep neural network generally contain different semantics. Existing methods often omit their characteristics that may lead to sub-optimal results. In this paper, we propose a novel end-to-end deep saliency network which could effectively utilize multi-scale feature maps according to their characteristics. Shallow layers often contain more local information, and deep layers have advantages in global semantics. Therefore, the network generates elaborate saliency maps by enhancing local and global information of feature maps in different layers. On one hand, local information of shallow layers is enhanced by a recurrent structure which shared convolution kernel at different time steps. On the other hand, global information of deep layers is utilized by a self-attention module, which generates different attention weights for salient objects and backgrounds thus achieve better performance. Experimental results on four widely used datasets demonstrate that our method has advantages in performance over existing algorithms.

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This paper introduces an online model for object detection in videos designed to run in real-time on low-powered mobile and embedded devices. Our approach combines fast single-image object detection with convolutional long short term memory (LSTM) layers to create an interweaved recurrent-convolutional architecture. Additionally, we propose an efficient Bottleneck-LSTM layer that significantly reduces computational cost compared to regular LSTMs. Our network achieves temporal awareness by using Bottleneck-LSTMs to refine and propagate feature maps across frames. This approach is substantially faster than existing detection methods in video, outperforming the fastest single-frame models in model size and computational cost while attaining accuracy comparable to much more expensive single-frame models on the Imagenet VID 2015 dataset. Our model reaches a real-time inference speed of up to 15 FPS on a mobile CPU.

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While most steps in the modern object detection methods are learnable, the region feature extraction step remains largely hand-crafted, featured by RoI pooling methods. This work proposes a general viewpoint that unifies existing region feature extraction methods and a novel method that is end-to-end learnable. The proposed method removes most heuristic choices and outperforms its RoI pooling counterparts. It moves further towards fully learnable object detection.

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Salient object detection, which aims to identify and locate the most salient pixels or regions in images, has been attracting more and more interest due to its various real-world applications. However, this vision task is quite challenging, especially under complex image scenes. Inspired by the intrinsic reflection of natural images, in this paper we propose a novel feature learning framework for large-scale salient object detection. Specifically, we design a symmetrical fully convolutional network (SFCN) to learn complementary saliency features under the guidance of lossless feature reflection. The location information, together with contextual and semantic information, of salient objects are jointly utilized to supervise the proposed network for more accurate saliency predictions. In addition, to overcome the blurry boundary problem, we propose a new structural loss function to learn clear object boundaries and spatially consistent saliency. The coarse prediction results are effectively refined by these structural information for performance improvements. Extensive experiments on seven saliency detection datasets demonstrate that our approach achieves consistently superior performance and outperforms the very recent state-of-the-art methods.

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