Pattern Analysis and Applications

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 411–426 | Cite as

Arabic character recognition using a Haar cascade classifier approach (HCC)

  • Ashraf AbdelRaoufEmail author
  • Colin A. Higgins
  • Tony Pridmore
  • Mahmoud I. Khalil
Theoretical Advances


Optical character recognition (OCR) shows great potential for rapid data entry, but has limited success when applied to the Arabic language. Traditional OCR problems are compounded by the nature of Arabic language and because the script is heavily connected. A machine learning, Haar cascade classifier (HCC) approach was introduced by Viola and Jones (Rapid object detection using a boosted cascade of simple features. Kauai, Hawaii, 2001) to achieve rapid object detection based on a boosted cascade of simple Haar-like features. Here, that approach is applied for the first time to suit Arabic glyph recognition. HCC approach eliminates problematic steps in the pre-processing and recognition phases and, most importantly, character segmentation stage. A classifier was produced for each of the 61 Arabic glyphs that exist after the removal of diacritical marks (dots). These classifiers were trained and tested on some 2,000 images each. The system was tested with real text images and produces a recognition rate for Arabic glyphs of 87 %. The technique gives good results relative to those achieved using a commercial Arabic OCR application and existing state-of-the-art research application.


Arabic character recognition Haar-like features Cascade classifiers Haar cascade classifiers 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ashraf AbdelRaouf
    • 1
    Email author
  • Colin A. Higgins
    • 2
  • Tony Pridmore
    • 2
  • Mahmoud I. Khalil
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Computer ScienceMisr International UniversityCairoEgypt
  2. 2.School of Computer ScienceThe University of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  3. 3.Computer and Systems Engineering Department, Faculty of EngineeringAin Shams UniversityCairoEgypt

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