TU Dortmund Department of Computer Science LS XII Pattern Recognition GroupPublications → Publication Details

Identifying and Tackling Key Challenges in Semantic Word Spotting

Oliver Tueselmann, Fabian Wolf and Gernot A. Fink
Proc. Int. Conf. on Frontiers in Handwriting Recognition, 2020, To appear.

Semantic word spotting is an extension of the traditional word spotting approach that uses not only visual but also semantic information to determine the similarity between a word image and a given query. Current approaches in this area achieve a semantic retrieval by embedding word images into a textually trained semantic space. The related literature presents remarkable results regarding established metrics indicating that the task of semantic word image retrieval is solved. A closer look at the results reveals, however, that this is only partially the case. In this work, we identify and solve current key challenges for semantic word spotting. We analyze the published works in this field towards these challenges and show why they do not solve them. For this purpose, we demonstrate that the used embedding space from current methods contains strong artifacts influencing the retrieval task. Furthermore, we evaluate a more suitable and established embedding approach from Natural Language Processing for semantic word spotting. We also explain the challenges of mapping word images into a semantic embedding space and evaluate different architectures for this task. Thereby, we present a new architecture that outperforms current approaches in this area. In addition, we show that commonly used metrics are not suitable for evaluating a semantic retrieval and present a new evaluation metric for this task.