• Bonish Agarwal

Visual Document Classification

Documents play a vital role in a person’s life. And of course documents are inevitable part of organizations too. Bigger organizations which have huge collection of all types of documents may not always able to keep those sorted all time. Those efforts are pretty subjective. Thus, finding little older document involves time as well as labor. That’s why automated document classification becomes the need of time. Some documents are visually different from each other. e.g. driving license looks much different than pan card which is again different from bank form. So, in such type of scenarios document classification is nothing but visual classification. But sometimes the documents are visually similar to each other. e.g. salary slips of two different employees from same organization would visually look same. In that scenarios this become textual classification.

Well, what is ‘Visual Document Classification’?

This article focuses on first scenario, Visual Document classification a.k.a. image classification which is essentially a ‘Computer Vision’ task. Artificial Intelligence is witnessing rapid growth in today’s world, reducing human intervention as much as possible. One of the areas in which it has witnessed tremendous growth is, Computer Vision. Image classification task in Computer Vision is helping humans sort their data automatically with utmost perfection.

If you are a MARVEL fan, you might have watched Avengers - Age of Ultron. There is a robot ‘Vision’, who is integrated with millions and trillions of neuronal networks because of which he has the power to classify or judge people on the basis of their behavior. ‘Image classification’ works on similar concept. Based on patterns that are extracted from the training data, the document which is stored as an image is being classified into provided categories. If you have many documents which need to be sorted out and are visibly much different, then this tool will help you organize your data in the best way possible.

How ‘Visual Document Classification’ works?

In machine learning, supervised learning algorithms are the most widely used techniques to classify labeled data. But how exactly this Visual Document Classification a.k.a. Image Classification performs? It involves training a deep Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) to extract features from training data of images of documents so that the new similar documents can be distinguished correctly. During the training process, CNN assigns importance (learnable weights and biases) to various aspects or features of the images of documents and thus, be able to differentiate documents one from the other.

Applications of Document Classification

1) Medical Industry

The typical use case of Document Classification in medical industry is to predict whether a particular MRI scan or x-ray is normal or abnormal.

Speed and Accuracy are some of the major advantages of adopting this technique in the medical sector.


The sectors like Insurance or Banking handle loads of documentation of their customers. Organizing these documents properly becomes crucial part of their business. But if handled manually, it might be very time consuming and could generate some manual errors. This might also lead to a rapid downfall in overall business productivity.

These sectors can take complete advantage of this technique to organize their documents with 100% accuracy and less time consumption.

3) Travel and Transportation

Travel industry has adopted image classification for face recognition of passengers for security purposes.

In the case of cargo transportation, image classification may replace barcode scanning for shipment tracking with images of packaged labels.

IBM researchers claim that 90% of medical data is sourced with image solutions. The advancement in Computer Vision and Deep Learning has been rising to perfection with time and will soon be embraced by the majority of industries. The ‘Document Classification’ tool, based on Image Classification techniques, developed by Optimum Data Analytics will be a supporting hand for humans with respect to time and providing better results. This tool will definitely help organizations increase their business value. Please get in touch with us for more information.

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