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Francisco Alvaro, Joan-Andreu Sánchez, José-Miguel Benedí. An integrated grammar-based approach for mathematical expression recognition. Pattern Recognition, 2016. Vol. 51 pp. 135-147.

Automatic recognition of mathematical expressions is a challenging pattern recognition problem since there are many ambiguities at different levels. On the one hand, the recognition of the symbols of the mathematical expression. On the other hand, the detection of the two-dimensional structure that relates the symbols and represents the math expression. These problems are closely related since symbol recognition is influenced by the structure of the expression, while the structure strongly depends on the symbols that are recognized. For these reasons, we present an integrated approach that combines several stochastic sources of information and is able to globally determine the most likely expression. This way, symbol segmentation, symbol recognition and structural analysis are simultaneously optimized. In this paper we define the statistical framework of a model based on two-dimensional grammars and its associated parsing algorithm. Since the search space is too large, restrictions are introduced for making the search feasible. We have developed a system that implements this approach and we report results on the large public dataset of the CROHME international competition. This approach significantly outperforms other proposals and was awarded best system using only the training dataset of the competition.