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This paper presents a new adaptive approach for the binarization and enhancement of historical and degraded documents. The proposed method is based on (i) efficient pre-processing; (ii) the combination of the results of several state-of-the-art binarization methodologies; (iii) the incorporation of edge information and (iv) the application of efficient image post-processing based on mathematical morphology for the enhancement of the final result. The proposed method demonstrated superior performance against six well-known techniques on numerous historical handwritten and machine-printed documents mainly from the Library of Congress of the United States archive. The performance evaluation was based on a consistent and concrete methodology.
Date of Conference: 16-19 Sept. 2008