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Journal Articles International Journal on Digital Libraries Year : 2022

Assessing the impact of OCR noise on multilingual event detection over digitised documents

Abstract

Event detection (ED) is a crucial task for natural language processing (NLP) and it involves the identification of instances of specified types of events in text and their classification into event types. The detection of events from digitised documents could enable historians to gather and combine a large amount of information into an integrated whole, a panoramic interpretation of the past. However, the level of degradation of digitised documents and the quality of the optical character recognition (OCR) tools might hinder the performance of an event detection system. While several studies have been performed in detecting events from historical documents, the transcribed documents needed to be hand-validated which implied a great effort of human expertise and manual labor-intensive work. Thus, in this study, we explore the robustness of two different event detection language-independent models to OCR noise, over two datasets that cover different event types and multiple languages. We aim at analysing their ability to mitigate problems caused by the low quality of the digitised documents and we simulate the existence of transcribed data, synthesised from clean annotated text, by injecting synthetic noise. For creating the noisy synthetic data, we chose to utilise four main types of noise that commonly occur after the digitisation process: Character Degradation, Bleed Through, Blur, and Phantom Character. Finally, we conclude that the imbalance of the datasets, the richness of the different annotation styles, and the language characteristics are the most important factors that can influence event detection in digitised documents.
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Dates and versions

hal-03635985 , version 1 (08-04-2022)

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Emanuela Boros, Nhu Khoa Nguyen, Gaël Lejeune, Antoine Doucet. Assessing the impact of OCR noise on multilingual event detection over digitised documents. International Journal on Digital Libraries, 2022, ⟨10.1007/s00799-022-00325-2⟩. ⟨hal-03635985⟩
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