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of the art algorithms for analyzing text and combine them into an easy to operate, open source system of tools to aid historical document research throughout the world.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:6/20/2016)... -- Securus Technologies, a leading provider of civil ... investigation, corrections and monitoring announced that after exhaustive ... the final acceptance by all three (3) Department ... (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will have contracts for ... October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between legitimate wireless device ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... TORONTO , June 7, 2016  Syngrafii ... begun a business relationship that includes integrating Syngrafii,s ... pilot branch project. This collaboration will result in ... for the credit union, while maintaining existing document ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160606/375871LOGO ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... 1, 2016 Favorable Government Initiatives ... and Criminal Identification to Boost Global Biometrics System Market ... TechSci Research report, " Global Biometrics Market By ... and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the global biometrics market ... on account of growing security concerns across various end ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2016)... SAN DIEGO and BEIJING ... Ltd., a leading commercial provider of genomic services and ... expertise, announced today that it has completed a USD ... China Merchants Bank Co., Ltd.,s CMB International Capital Management ... SDIC Innovation Investment Management Co., Ltd. ("SDIC Innovation") and ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... Mass. , Nov. 30, 2016   Merck ... that it has entered into a set of agreements ... services for Merck,s collection of genetic reagents such as ... with Evotec,s screening expertise offers an accelerated pathway to ... discovery starts with the identification of new targets, a ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... ... development of a new orally administered treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), today announced ... a Phase 2a clinical trial of T3D-959 in mild to moderate Alzheimer’s patients ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... ProMIS Neurosciences (“ProMIS” or the ... diseases, today announced that all five of its validated monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapeutic ... toxic, prion-like forms of Amyloid beta (Aß) in vitro. , “We previously demonstrated ...
Breaking Biology Technology: