Navigation Links
Ben-Gurion U. developing new computer techniques to analyze historic Hebrew and Arabic documents
Date:8/14/2009

BEER-SHEVA, ISRAELAugust 14, 2009 Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) will combine the scientific and scholarly expertise of their humanities and computer science experts in a new project to analyze degraded Hebrew documents.

The effort to develop new computer algorithms combines BGU's scientific expertise in computer vision, computer graphics, image processing and computational geometry with the scholarly expertise of historians and liturgy scholars to provide valuable answers regarding Jewish liturgical texts and Arabic historical texts that advance scholarship in these fields.

The technical goal of the research is to develop new state of the art algorithms for analyzing text and combine them into an easy to operate, open source system of tools to aid historical document research throughout the world.

Experiments are being conducted on degraded documents from sources such as the Cairo Geniza, copies of which are located at the national liturgy project at BGU, the El-Aqsa manuscript library in Jerusalem and the Al-Azar manuscript library in Cairo. Most fragments that have been discovered at the Geniza are now in libraries at Cambridge and Oxford universities, the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, The British Library and in Israel and Paris.

Until now the documents have not been researched systematically. Prof. Uri Ehrlich of the Goldstein-Goren Department of Jewish Thought is the head of the Prayer Research Project at BGU. He explains that, "There was one book that was originally used as a Hebrew prayer book from the 12th century, but had been scratched off, and the parchment used to write an Arabic text (called a palimpsest). Our aim was to read the first book and not the second book. So we needed to find out how the Arab book could disappear and would leave only the Hebrew letters of the original book. This is why the computer sciences and humanities departments at BGU decided to collaborate."

"To solve the problem, we created an algorithm to cover the text in a dark grey color, which then highlights lighter colored pixels as background space and identifies the darker pixels as outlining the original Hebrew lettering," said Prof. Klara Kedem of the Department of Computer Sciences and one of the system's creators.

Many of the new methods will apply to other languages as well, including binarization of highly degraded documents (converting up to 256 grey colors to black and white to facilitate digitization), segmentation of skewed and curved lines and word spotting in both curved and highly degraded documents. Other algorithms will be more language specific, such as paleographic analysis of Hebrew and Arabic historical documents that will include automatic indexing of document collections, determining authorship, location and date of the documents.

The research is being funded by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF). Prof. Ehrlich and other BGU scholars in the humanities will be among those to evaluate the system to be built by Prof. Klara Kedem and Dr. Jihad El-Sana of the Department of Computer Sciences and Prof. Emeritus Tsiki Dinstein from Electrical Engineering.

The group is part of the emerging global effort to understand, manipulate and archive historical documents so that they are available to researchers in paleography, archaeology and historical research.


'/>"/>

Contact: Andrew Lavin
andrewlavin@alavin.com
212-290-9540
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. 1 in 6 health workers wont report in flu pandemic -- study by Ben-Gurion U. researchers
2. Ben-Gurion U. researchers reveal connection between cancer and human evolution
3. Ben-Gurion University research and technology used in new solar energy farm
4. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev signs collaborative contract with Bayer CropScience
5. Ben-Gurion University engineers develop technique to help combat nuclear proliferation
6. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev researchers develop new reversible, green window technology
7. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev to host
8. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev researchers help find that hypnosis can induce synesthesia
9. Environmental peace treaty between Israel and Palestinians unveiled at Ben-Gurion University
10. Scientists track impact of DNA damage in the developing brain
11. Scientists closer to developing salt-tolerant crops
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/4/2017)... NEW YORK , April 4, 2017   ... solutions, today announced that the United States Patent and ... The patent broadly covers the linking of an iris ... the same transaction) and represents the company,s 45 th ... our latest patent is very timely given the multi-modal ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017 Trends, opportunities and ... and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial ... and others), by end use industry (government and law ... financial and banking, and others), and by region ( ... , Asia Pacific , and the ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... -- The Controller General of Immigration from Maldives Mr. ... have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the most innovative high ... ... Maldives Immigration Controller ... (small picture on the right) have received the IAIR award for the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/19/2017)... , ... June 19, 2017 , ... ... all service activities supporting EDETEK’s products including training, implementation, support, and client process ... his new role. He has previously held leadership roles for service providers and ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... King of Prussia, PA (PRWEB) , ... June 19, 2017 , ... ... by life sciences companies for over 50 years. One of the biggest challenges faced ... environment. Joining the firm’s regulatory affairs services team is Kati Abraham , who ...
(Date:6/16/2017)... ... June 16, 2017 , ... Cognition Corporation , ... two more sessions of its “From the Helm” Webinar Series. , The ... online templates for design control exercises. Led by David Cronin, Cognition’s CEO, the ...
(Date:6/16/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 16, 2017 , ... CTNext ... Entrepreneur Innovation Awards (EIA), held at The LOFT at Chelsea Piers in Stamford. , ... ideas to a panel of judges for an opportunity to secure $10,000 awards to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: