Automatic Selection of Table Areas in Documents for Information Extraction
The information contained in companies’ financial statements is valuable to several users. Much of the relevant information in such documents is contained in tables and is currently mainly extracted by hand. We propose a method that accomplishes a prior step of the task of automatically extracting information from tables in documents: selecting the lines that are likely to belong to tables. Our method has been developed by empirically analyzing a set of Portuguese companies’ financial statements using statistical and data mining techniques. Empirical evaluation indicates that more than 99% of table lines are selected after discarding at least 50% of all lines. The method can cope with the complexity of styles used in assembling information on paper and adapt its performance accordingly, thus maximizing its results.
KeywordsInformation Extraction Data Mining Technique Plain Text Source Document Automatic Selection
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