Open Access


Novel Adaptive Binarization Method for Degraded Document Images

Siti Norul Huda Sheikh Abdullah1, Saad M. Ismail1,2, Mohammad Kamrul Hasan1,*, Palaiahnakote Shivakumara3
1 Center for Cyber Security, Faculty of Information Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Selangor, 43600, Malaysia
2 The Faculty of Computer and Information Sciences, Aljouf University, Saudi Arabia
3 Faculty of Computer Systems and Information Technology, University of Malaya, Malaysia
* Corresponding Author: Mohammad Kamrul Hasan. Email:

Computers, Materials & Continua 2021, 67(3), 3815-3832.

Received 02 October 2020; Accepted 19 December 2020; Issue published 01 March 2021


Achieving a good recognition rate for degraded document images is difficult as degraded document images suffer from low contrast, bleed-through, and nonuniform illumination effects. Unlike the existing baseline thresholding techniques that use fixed thresholds and windows, the proposed method introduces a concept for obtaining dynamic windows according to the image content to achieve better binarization. To enhance a low-contrast image, we proposed a new mean histogram stretching method for suppressing noisy pixels in the background and, simultaneously, increasing pixel contrast at edges or near edges, which results in an enhanced image. For the enhanced image, we propose a new method for deriving adaptive local thresholds for dynamic windows. The dynamic window is derived by exploiting the advantage of Otsu thresholding. To assess the performance of the proposed method, we have used standard databases, namely, document image binarization contest (DIBCO), for experimentation. The comparative study on well-known existing methods indicates that the proposed method outperforms the existing methods in terms of quality and recognition rate.


Global and local thresholding; adaptive binarization; degraded document image; image histogram; document image binarization contest

Cite This Article

S. Norul Huda Sheikh Abdullah, S. M. Ismail, M. Kamrul Hasan and P. Shivakumara, "Novel adaptive binarization method for degraded document images," Computers, Materials & Continua, vol. 67, no.3, pp. 3815–3832, 2021.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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