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On the Evaluation of Document Analysis Components by Recall, Precision, and Accuracy

Markus Junker; Rainer Hoch; Andreas Dengel
In: Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Document Analysis and Recognition. International Conference on Document Analysis and Recognition (ICDAR-99), September 20-22, Bangalore, India, Pages 713-716, ISBN 0-7695-0318-7, IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, USA, 1999.


In document analysis, it is common to prove the usefulness of a component by an experimental evaluation. By applying the respective algorithms to a test sample, effectiveness measures such as recall, precision, and accuracy are computed.The goal of such an evaluation is two-fold: on the one hand it shows that the absolute effectiveness of the algorithm is acceptable for practical use. On the other hand, the evaluation can prove that the algorithm has a better or worse effectiveness than another algorithm.In this paper we argue that the experimental evaluation on relative small test sets - as is very common in document analysis - has to be taken with extreme care from a statistical point of view. In fact, it is surprising how weak statements derived from such evaluations are.