2020-09-08Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/24079
DeepTable: a permutation invariant neural network for table orientation classification
Tables are a common way to present information in an intuitive and concise manner. They are used extensively in media such as scientific articles or web pages. Automatically analyzing the content of tables bears special challenges. One of the most basic tasks is determination of the orientation of a table: In column tables, columns represent one entity with the different attribute values present in the different rows; row tables are vice versa, and matrix tables give information on pairs of entities. In this paper, we address the problem of classifying a given table into one of the three layouts horizontal (for row tables), vertical (for column tables), and matrix. We describe DeepTable, a novel method based on deep neural networks designed for learning from sets. Contrary to previous state-of-the-art methods, this basis makes DeepTable invariant to the permutation of rows or columns, which is a highly desirable property as in most tables the order of rows and columns does not carry specific information.We evaluate our method using a silver standard corpus of 5500 tables extracted from biomedical articles where the layout was determined heuristically. DeepTable outperforms previous methods in both precision and recall on our corpus. In a second evaluation, we manually labeled a corpus of 300 tables and were able to confirm DeepTable to reach superior performance in the table layout classification task. The codes and resources introduced here are available at https://github.com/Marhabibi/DeepTable.
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