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LEWIS: Latent Embeddings for Word Images and their Semantics

Albert Gordo, Jon Almazan, Naila Murray, Florent Perronnin
The goal of this work is to bring semantics into the tasks of text recognition and retrieval in natural images. Although text recognition and retrieval have received a lot of attention in recent years, previous works have focused on recognizing or retrieving exactly the same word used as a query, without taking the semantics into consideration. In this paper, we ask the following question: can we predict semantic concepts directly from a word image, without explicitly trying to transcribe the word image or its characters at any point? For this goal we propose a convolutional neural network (CNN) with a weighted ranking loss objective that ensures that the concepts relevant to the query image are ranked ahead of those that are not relevant. This can also be interpreted as learning a Euclidean space where word images and concepts are jointly embedded. This model is learned in an end-to-end manner, from image pixels to semantic concepts, using a dataset of synthetically generated word images and concepts mined from a lexical database (WordNet). Our results show that, despite the complexity of the task, word images and concepts can indeed be associated with a high degree of accuracy.
ICCV, Santiago de Chile, Chile, 11-18 December, 2015