Recognition Strategies in Machine Vision Applications
Since the 1970’s, we have been developing technologies in industrial machine vision including intelligent character recognition to produce automated machines for factories, banks, and post offices. In my talk, I will first introduce a brief history of the industrial machine vision and the intelligent character recognition technologies in applied fields. Then I will discuss the strategies and developments in the fields. I will end my talk by touching on my personal experience as a researcher.
As time has passed, our major research objective has changed from factory automation to office automation and from office automation to social/security automation. Consequently, the demand for machines that are capable of dealing with more complex and difficult automation tasks has grown. To meet these demands, a machine often requires multiple recognition procedures. This normally leads to the final recognition rate worsening as the number of procedures increases. Therefore, we propose a multiple-hypothesis strategy and an information-integration strategy to improve the final recognition rate so that it can meet the machine’s specification. Then, it will be shown that the rejection ability of the recognition procedures has an important role in using these strategies effectively. The usefulness of these strategies has been proved through the successful development of mail sorting machines, document readers, and intelligent automated teller machines. Those developments are also described in detail in my talk. Finally, I would like to touch on my experiences as an industrial researcher, which can be summed up by the phrases “practicality first, novelty second,” “development first, research second,” and “non-vision first, vision second.”
Dr. Hiroshi Sako received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, in 1975 and 1977, and his Doctorate in Computer Science from The University of Tokyo in 1992.
From 1977 to 1991, he worked in the field of industrial machine vision at the Central Research Laboratory of Hitachi, Ltd., Tokyo, Japan (HCRL). From 1992 to 1995, he was a Senior Research Scientist at Hitachi Dublin Laboratory, Ireland, where he did research in facial and hand gesture recognition. Since 1996, he has been with the HCRL where he directs research groups of character recognition and image recognition, and he is currently a Chief Researcher. Since 1998, he has also been a Visiting Professor at the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Hokuriku Postgraduate University, and a Visiting lecturer at Hosei University, Tokyo, Japan, since 2003.
Dr. Sako was a recipient of the 1988 Best Paper Award from the Institute of Electronics, Information, and Communication Engineers (IEICE) of Japan, and the 1994 Industrial Paper Award from 12th IAPR International Conference on Pattern Recognition, Jerusalem, Israel. He has authored more than 70 technical papers and 100 patents in the area of pattern recognition, image processing and neural networks. He is a member of the editorial boards of journals including Pattern Recognition Letters.
Dr. Sako is a Fellow of the IEEE Computer Society and a Fellow of the International Association for Pattern Recognition (IAPR), and also a member of the IEICE of Japan, the Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence,and the Information Processing Society of Japan.