Address Block Location with a Neural Net System

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 6 (NIPS 1993)

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Hans Graf, Eric Cosatto


We developed a system for finding address blocks on mail pieces that can process four images per second. Besides locating the address block, our system also determines the writing style, handwritten or machine printed, and moreover, it measures the skew angle of the text lines and cleans noisy images. A layout analysis of all the elements present in the image is performed in order to distinguish drawings and dirt from text and to separate text of advertisement from that of the destination address. A speed of more than four images per second is obtained on a modular hardware platform, containing a board with two of the NET32K neural net chips, a SP ARC2 processor board, and a board with 2 digital signal processors. The system has been tested with more than 100,000 images. Its performance depends on the quality of the images, and lies between 85% correct location in very noisy images to over 98% in cleaner images.