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Building OCR/NER test collections


Named entity recognition (NER) identifies spans of text that contain names. Many researchers have reported the results of NER on text created through optical character recognition (OCR) over the past two decades. Unfortunately, the test collections that support this research are annotated with named entities after optical character recognition (OCR) has been run. This means that the collection must be re-annotated if the OCR output changes. Instead, by tying annotations to character locations on the page, a collection can be built that supports OCR and NER research without requiring re-annotation when either improves. This means that named entities are annotated on the transcribed text. The transcribed text is all that is needed to evaluate the performance of OCR. For NER evaluation, the tagged OCR output is aligned to the transcription, and modified versions of each are created and scored. This paper presents a methodology for building such a test collection and releases a collection of Chinese OCR-NER data constructed using the methodology. The paper provides performance baselines for current OCR and NER systems applied to this new collection.