The Precise and Efficient Identification of Medical Order Forms Using Shape Trees

  • Uwe HenkerEmail author
  • Uwe Petersohn
  • Alfred Ultsch
Conference paper
Part of the Studies in Classification, Data Analysis, and Knowledge Organization book series (STUDIES CLASS)


A powerful and flexible technique to identify, classify and process documents using images from a scanning process is presented. The types of documents can be described to the system as a set of differentiating features in a case base using shape trees. The features are filtered and abstracted from an extremely reduced scanner image of the document. Classification rules are stored with the cases to enable precise recognition and further mark reading and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) process. The method is implemented in a system which actually processes the majority of requests for medical lab procedures in Germany. A large practical experiment with data from practitioners was performed. An average of 97% of the forms were correctly identified; none were identified incorrectly. This meets the quality requirements for most medical applications. The modular description of the recognition process allows for a flexible adaptation of future changes to the form and content of the document’s structures.


Case based reasoning Document identification Document processing Optical mark reading Segmentation Shape tree Similarity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DOCexpert Computer GmbHBambergGermany

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