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OPTICAL SCANNING DIGITIZERS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131599D
Original Publication Date: 1983-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Document File: 12 page(s) / 47K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Georgy Nagy: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Electronic eyes are everywhere, scrutinizing documents, blood slides, even pizza crusts. With this potpourri of applications, scanners may become as commonplace as today's photographic camera.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1983 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society http://www.computer.org/ (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.

OPTICAL SCANNING DIGITIZERS

Georgy Nagy,

University of Nebraska

Electronic eyes are everywhere, scrutinizing documents, blood slides, even pizza crusts. With this potpourri of applications, scanners may become as commonplace as today's photographic camera.

Optical scanners, or scanning digitizers, are used to convert a picture into an array of numbers representing the positional distribution of optical density within the picture. The relation between the computer-readable output of the optical scanner and the original image is critical to automatic pattern recognition and digital image processing.

Optical scanners can be thought of as eyes for computers. They are used in optical character recognition; computer- aided design and drafting; biomedical applications; geographic data processing, including remote sensing; facsimile communications; printing and publishing; and experimental physical science. (See center insert on applications.) Commercially, the most widespread application of optical scanners is optical character recognition. Virtually all earlier products were based on mechanical scanners, but the current trend is solid-state transducers. At the same time, the implementation of recognition algorithms is shifting from special-purpose, hard-wired logic to microprocessor-based software. Consequently, large, high-speed OCR systems designed to displace several hundred data entry specialists are gradually giving way to devices that can be cost-justified; even in organizations employing only a few data entry personnel. OCR input devices may eventually be attached to even the smallest computer systems, complementing the standard keyboard for alphanumeric entry.

To recognize a single character, we need only examine a 30 x 30 picture element array; the exact spatial relation between successive characters is unimportant. Optical scanners designed for character recognition are, therefore, generally not suitable for image input. Image scanners are, however, finding their way into OCR systems designed for less restrictive applications, such as the processing of documents containing gray-scale illustrations, line drawings, and a mix of type fonts. ~

Engineering applicatio~s require the digitization of line drawings with predominantly straight-line segments, such as detail, assembly, structural, and architectural drawings; logic, circuit, and wiring diagrams; printed circuit, wafer, and chip layouts; and utility maps (in-plant and cross- country cabling, piping and pipelines, conduits, ducts, transmission Iyies). Ink o...