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Design of an Embedded Arabic Optical Character Recognition

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Abstract

This work presents an embedded Arabic OCR system. The proposed system is compact and portable which make it useful for many applications such as blind assistance and language translation. OCR system consists of the sub-systems: image acquisition, pre-processing, segmentation, feature extraction, classification, and post- processing. For each sub-system there are several of algorithms and techniques to be implemented. Working with PCs gives the designer freedom to select the algorithms and techniques according to the required performance, reliability and reusability. However with the embedded systems we are facing many problems and challenges. Such challenges are associated with memory, speed, and computational power. FPGA is selected as the hardware platform for realizing that recognition task. An OCR system is designed and implemented on PC. Then this system is transferred to FPGA after a set of optimization procedures. Utilizing the features of FPGA technology, Hardware / Software co-design is accomplished on an FPGA board. In that design the systems is partitioned into software modules and hardware components to get the advantages of software flexibility and hardware speed. A database of 3000 Arabic characters is used to train and test the performance of the system. The effects of changing the number of features and classification parameters on accuracy, memory and speed are measured. Design points are selected in order to improve the memory required, speed and computation power without affecting the accuracy.

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Correspondence to M. Zaki.

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Al-Marakeby, A., Kimura, F., Zaki, M. et al. Design of an Embedded Arabic Optical Character Recognition. J Sign Process Syst 70, 249–258 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11265-012-0662-x

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Keywords

  • Arabic character recognition
  • Embedded systems
  • FPGA
  • Discriminant functions