Research Article Open Access

An Adaptive Thresholding Algorithm-Based Optical Character Recognition System for Information Extraction in Complex Images

Daniel Akinbade1, Adewale Opeoluwa Ogunde1, Mba Obasi Odim1 and Bosede Oyenike Oguntunde1
  • 1 Redeemer’s University, Nigeria


Extracting texts from images with complex backgrounds is a major challenge today. Many existing Optical Character Recognition (OCR) systems could not handle this problem. As reported in the literature, some existing methods that can handle the problem still encounter major difficulties with extracting texts from images with sharp varying contours, touching word and skewed words from scanned documents and images with such complex backgrounds. There is, therefore, a need for new methods that could easily and efficiently extract texts from these images with complex backgrounds, which is the primary reason for this work. This study collected image data and investigated the processes involved in image processing and the techniques applied for data segmentation. It employed an adaptive thresholding algorithm to the selected images to properly segment text characters from the image’s complex background. It then used Tesseract, a machine learning product, to extract the text from the image file. The images used were coloured images sourced from the internet with different formats like jpg, png, webp and different resolutions. A custom adaptive algorithm was applied to the images to unify their complex backgrounds. This algorithm leveraged on the Gaussian thresholding algorithm. The algorithm differs from the conventional Gaussian algorithm as it dynamically generated the blocksize to apply threshing to the image. This ensured that, unlike conventional image segmentation, images were processed area-wise (in pixels) as specified by the algorithm at each instance. The system was implemented using Python 3.6 programming language. Experimentation involved fifty different images with complex backgrounds. The results showed that the system was able to extract English character-based texts from images with complex backgrounds with 69.7% word-level accuracy and 81.9% character-level accuracy. The proposed method in this study proved to be more efficient as it outperformed the existing methods in terms of the character level percentage accuracy.

Journal of Computer Science
Volume 16 No. 6, 2020, 784-801


Submitted On: 6 April 2020 Published On: 14 June 2020

How to Cite: Akinbade, D., Ogunde, A. O., Odim, M. O. & Oguntunde, B. O. (2020). An Adaptive Thresholding Algorithm-Based Optical Character Recognition System for Information Extraction in Complex Images. Journal of Computer Science, 16(6), 784-801.

  • 12 Citations



  • Adaptive Threshold Algorithm
  • Complex Backgrounds
  • Images
  • Optical Character Recognition
  • Pattern Recognition