Edward Fox, Sampanna Kahu


We focus on electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), aiming to improve access and expand their utility, since more than 6 million are publicly available, and they constitute an important corpus to aid research and education across disciplines. The corpus is growing as new born-digital documents are included, and since millions of older theses and dissertations have been converted to digital form to be disseminated electronically in institutional repositories. In ETDs, as with other scholarly works, figures and tables can communicate a large amount of information in a concise way. Although methods have been proposed for extracting figures and tables from born-digital PDFs, they do not work well with scanned ETDs. Considering this problem, our assessment of state-of-the-art figure extraction systems is that the reason they do not function well on scanned PDFs is that they have only been trained on born-digital documents. To address this limitation, we present ScanBank, a new dataset containing 10 thousand scanned page images, manually labeled by humans as to the presence of the 3.3 thousand figures or tables found therein. We use this dataset to train a deep neural network model based on YOLOv5 to accurately extract figures and tables from scanned ETDs. We pose and answer important research questions aimed at finding better methods for figure extraction from scanned documents. One of those concerns the value for training, of data augmentation techniques applied to born-digital documents which are used to train models better suited for figure extraction from scanned documents. To the best of our knowledge, ScanBank is the first manually annotated dataset for figure and table extraction for scanned ETDs. A YOLOv5-based model, trained on ScanBank, outperforms existing comparable open-source and freely available baseline methods by a considerable margin.


Edward Fox

Publication Details

Date of publication:
June 23, 2021
Cornell University
Publication note:

Sampanna Yashwant Kahu, William A. Ingram, Edward A. Fox, Jian Wu: ScanBank: A Benchmark Dataset for Figure Extraction from Scanned Electronic Theses and Dissertations. CoRR abs/2106.15320 (2021)