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The First Scientific Symposium Of Electrical And Electronic Engineering (EEES) 2016

An Efficient Methods Comparison for Arabic

Words Contours Approximation
A. Ukasha
Faculty of Engineering, Department of
Electronics & Computer Engineering
Sebha University Sebha, Libya
Email: elokshy@yahoo.com

Abstract This paper presents a comparison between three an

efficient algorithms for Arabic contour approximation and
compression. The oldest method known as Ramer algorithm
will be used for contour approximation in addition with
Trapezoid & Adaptive-Triangle methods. These algorithms are
introduced & compared. The single step parallel contour
extraction (SSPCE) method will be used in this work to
achieve Cartesian representation of the object. The main idea
of the analyzed approaches are discussed to obtain contour
compression. For comparison, the mean square error and
signal-to-noise ratio criterions are used. Experimental results
are obtained both in terms of image quality, compression
ratios and speed. The main advantage of the analyzed
algorithm (Adaptive-Triangle) is the short computational time
of operations compared with Ramer, but it has less quality. On
the other side it has better quality and quite less speed than
that of Trapezoid algorithm.
Index Terms Contour representation, contour compression, polygonal approximation, Ramer, Trapezoid and

1. INTRODUCTION
Contours play an important role in processing medical
images, image compression, etc. Hence, a new efficient
algorithm called Adaptive-Triangle approach is presented
to solve the problem of speed in time of operations. The
Cartesian representations are mostly used for the contour
approximation procedures. In this paper the method
known as single step parallel contour extraction method
SSPCE is using to extract contours from binary image
(A. Dziech, et al 1998). The fundamental goal of the
digital signal compression is to reduce the bit rate for
transmission and storage without significant loss of
information. The well-known algorithm in spatial domain
is Ramer who has presented repeated end points that suit
the algorithm. Connecting a number of points by joining
all the line end points give the approximation of such data
and that is the basic idea of this algorithm. The analyzed
methods corresponds to a family of polygonal methods in
image and signal data processing. The two other analyzed
algorithms Trapezoid & Adaptive-Triangle for contour
compression will compared and discussed with Ramer
method.

R. Albahi
Faculty of Engineering, Department of
Electronics & Computer Engineering
Sebha University Sebha, Libya
Email: Rog_albahi2008@yahoo.com

2. SINGLE STEP PARALLEL CONTOUR

EXTRACTION METHOD
The following three steps are needed for the extraction
procedure of single step parallel contour extraction
(SSPCE) [7]:
1.
2.
3.

To ensure the closure of all extracted contours, the

image should be framed with zeros.
Eight rules of edge extraction are applied and coded
using 8-directional chain code.
Sorting the extracted contour edges and storing them

3. METHODS OF CONTOUR COMPRESSION

IN SPATIAL DOMAIN
There are several algorithms available for determining
the number and location of the vertices and also to
compute the polygonal approximation of a contour. In
this work the contour compression in spatial domain
based on polygonal approximation using three different
methods are discussed in the next sections.
The notable step here; before applying any of contour
compression methods we need to get extracted contours
using (SSPCE) method.
A. Ramer Method
This algorithm has been introduced by Ramer [1], it
based on extracted contours using polygonal
approximation of two-dimensional digitized curves. For a
closed contour as in (Fig. 1.a), the working procedure of
the algorithm started with split the original contour into
two parts (lower and upper curves) by a straight-line;
which connect two points on the contour known as start
point (point which has minimum value of X-axis from
left side), and end point (point which has maximum value
of X-axis from right side). Then, for the lower side
(Fig.1.b) we begin to compute the perpendicular distance
from each point along the segment to the straight -line. If
this distance greater than certain threshold, we break the
line at the point of greatest distance to obtain new
segments see (Fig. 1.b). Thereafter, repeat the last step
recursively with each of the two new lines separately;

The First Scientific Symposium Of Electrical And Electronic Engineering (EEES) 2016

until there is no need to break any more when the

maximum distance of any point to the poly-line falls
below a certain threshold. After that, repeat the same
process steps for upper side too (Fig. 1.c).
Finally connect the vertices (Fig. 1.d) of the
reconstructed contour by drawing lines between them to
obtain the polygonal approximating contour.
The main advantage of the Ramer method is its good
quality. While, the main disadvantages is the large
complexity and the long computational time compared
with other algorithms.
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of the trapezoid, then draw a new segment. The stored

points will determine the vertices of an edge of the
approximating polygon.

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The main advantage of this algorithm is its fast

manipulation of data compared with other algorithms;
this is because the ability of algorithm to scan the contour
points only once, and does not require storing the
analyzed contour points; because the points of the
original contour will be eliminated immediately. But the
quality of extracted contours will be less than Ramer
algorithm [2, 3]. The flowchart of this method is shown
in Fig. 3.

(d)

(c)

START

i=1; VA=[1];
SP=CC(:,i); B; C;
EP=CC(:,i+3*f);

Figure 1. Contour Compression using Ramer method: a) The original

contour, b) The curve segments for the lower side, c) The curve
segments for the upper side, d) The approximated contours.

B. Trapezoid Method
This algorithm belongs to the polygonal approximation
methods of contour representation. Segmentation of the
contour points to get trapezoid shapes as in (Fig. 2) is the
basic idea of this algorithm. The first point of each
segment is called starting point (SP) and the last one is
called ending point (EP).
The ratio between the perpendicular distances (dB)
from point B to the line (SP C) to the perpendicular
distance (dC) from point C to the line (B EP) is the fit
criterion of the trapezoid method as in equation (1), and
trigonometric formula is used to calculate these values.
(dB/dC)<th

dB
th
dC

i LCC

VA=[VA B C EP];
SP=EP; i=i+3*f;

VA=[VA C EP];
SP=EP;
i=i+3*f;

(1)
END

where: th is the given threshold value.

If the condition in equation (1) is verified; store the
third and ending points of the trapezoid, and shift the SP
to the EP; then draw a new segment. Otherwise store the
second, third and ending points and shift the SP to the EP

Figure 3. Flowchart of Trapezoid method.

The First Scientific Symposium Of Electrical And Electronic Engineering (EEES) 2016

This section presents a suggestion of a new algorithm
for contour compression of black-white images in time
domain based on polygonal approximation. The idea of
this algorithm based on choosing two points (Sp, Ep) on
the contour curve as in (Fig. 4) [4]. Sp is point number 1
on the curve, Ep is point number 12 on the same curve.
Now; the straight line that connecting (Sp, Ep) is used to
compute the maximum perpendicular distance (
)
from this line to contour curve points from Sp to Ep to as
shown in (Fig. 4), compare this distance (
) with
given threshold ( ) by the equation (2).
The flowchart of this method is shown in Fig. 5.

2.

Vertex Points= [Sp S1/2 S2/2 Ep], and start

point Sp is shifted to the end point Ep and open
new segment, as shown in (Fig. 4).
Otherwise we will store Vertex Points = [Sp
Slargest/2 Ep] as a vertex points of compressed
contour, and start point Sp shifted to end point Ep
and open new segment, as shown in (Fig. 4).
Second case, if condition of equation (2) fails,
i.e.
(4)
(d max th1 )
We will store (Sp, Ep) as a vertex points, and
shift Sp to Ep and open new segment, as shown
in (Fig. 4).

method.

>

(2)

There are two possible cases:

1.

If the distance (
) is larger than ( ) and
equation (2) comes true, we will open two new
line segments (S1 , S2), S1 is the direct line that
connect Sp to
point, and S2 the direct line
that connect
point to Ep . Now, compare the
length of S1 , S2 lines:
If (S1 > S2) we will compare the ratio between
(Lo :direct length) of largest segment, with the
(LN : real length) of the same segment with a
given threshold (th2) according to equation (3)

( LO LN ) th2

(3)

If the condition of equation (3) comes true

choose two additional points on the (S1, S2) lines
as a vertex points of compressed contour, so the
vertex points will be:

Figure 5. Flowchart of Adaptive-Triangle method.

The First Scientific Symposium Of Electrical And Electronic Engineering (EEES) 2016

4. APPLIED MEASUREMENTS
In order to evaluate the compression ability, the
following compression ratio equation (5) was used
[5], [6].

CR

( LCC LAC )
.100%
LCC

Letters' image. Test images and their extracted contours

illustrated in (Fig.6). The comparison is made with
respect to the consuming time and number of points that
used to represent the extracted contour as shown in
(Table. I).

(5)
Original image

original binary image

Extracted Contours
using SSPCE (3x3)

where:
LCC - length of the input contour C.
LAC - length of the approximating polygon CC.

LCC

d
i 1

2
i

(6)

di - is the perpendicular distance between i point on the

input contour curve segment and straight line between
each two successive vertices on edge of the
approximating polygon; if the edge is a part of a straight
line described by a common equation:

A.xi B. yi C
A2 B 2

Arabic Letters

where:

di

Libya map

1
MSE
LCC

Ain

The mean square error (MSE) and signal-to-noise ratio

(SNR) criterions were used for quality measure to
evaluate the distortion introduced during the
approximating procedure. The mean square error (MSE)
is defined by the equation (6).

(7)
TABLE I.

Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) criterion is defined by the

following equation.

MSE
SNR 10. log10 (
)
VAR

(8)

where:

Image name

Consumed
time (ms)

Contour
points No.

Ain

32.3

307

Libya map

92.2

687

Arabic Letters

943.7

7920

3

Performed analysis and experiments show that SNR

should be greater than 30 dB to obtain the expected
compromise between compression ratio and quality of
reconstruction. In the case of high threshold level, the
contour details are eliminated and level of introduced
distortion cannot be accepted.

5. EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS & DISCUSSION

A. Contour Extraction using SSPCE Method
To show the results of contour extraction using SSPCE
methods a set of three binary test images are used; two of
them have a single contour as: 'Ain', 'Libya map' images.
The other one have a multi contour named as 'Arabic

Fig.6 & Table. I presents the contour extraction using

SSPCE (33 windows) & it shows the ability of extract
contours from binary images that has a few details like
Ain image, as well as many details images like 'Arabic
Letters' image. The extracted contours contains all details
of the original image even small ones like points.
Although, time needed to obtain contours depends on the
complexity of image contents, short time for executing
the operations and get contours is the other characteristic
that distinguishes this method. The above mentioned
properties made this algorithm suitable for real time
applications.

The First Scientific Symposium Of Electrical And Electronic Engineering (EEES) 2016

B. Contour Compression Methods

After extracting contours using SSPCE (3x3windows),
we can apply contour compression methods on it. A code
is written with MATLAB (2010) programming is used to
obtain all results; the block diagram of the compression
procedure for all methods is shown in (Fig. 7).

Ramer
Trapezoid
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Cartesian
Description of
Contour

Binary image

SNR(dB)

32

Contour
Extraction Using
SSPCE Method
[[

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Contour
Signal

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90

91

CR(%)

Compressed
Contour

Apply Contour
Compression
Procedure

Figure 9. SNR versus CR for Ramer, Trapezoid, and AdaptiveTriangle compression algorithms of 'Ain' image.

Ramer
Trapezoid

Figure 7. Block diagram of contour compression procedure.

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Consumed time(ms)

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Next Tables (II , III, IV) presents the experimental

results of applying (Ramer, Trapezoid, AdaptiveTriangle) compression methods on extracted contours
of images shown previously on (Fig.6) & results of
compressed images are shown in (Fig. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12,
13, 14, 15, 16) respectively.

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10
5
0

80

85

CR(%)

90

95

Figure 10. Results of compression versus time for 'Ain' contour using

TABLE II.

(a)

Compression
Method

(b)

CR%

SNR
(dB)

Time
'ms'

80.1303

36.3303

48.21

85.6678

35.9573

44. 86

90.5537

30.8402

44. 7

95.114

21.029

41.86

80.1303
85.6678

34.3447
29.8325

42.88
42.61

90.5537
95.53
80.456
85.6678
90.5537
95.439

24.5376
17.577
32.4243
28.4939
22.4442
13.700

41.36
34.15
32.32
31.35
30.65
30.052

Ramer

Ain

(c)

(d)
Trapezoid

Figure 8. (a) Original Contour of 'Ain, (b, c, d) Compressed contour

at CR= 85% using (Ramer, Trapezoid, Adaptive-Triangle) methods
respectively.

The First Scientific Symposium Of Electrical And Electronic Engineering (EEES) 2016

TABLE III.

RESULTS OF COMPRESSION FOR 'LIBYA MAP' CONTOUR

Compression
Method

CR%
79.9127

SNR
(dB)
44.9098

Time
'ms'
69.2

85.5895
90.1019
98.2533
79.7671
85.1528
90.393
97.8166
79.6215
85.444

45.0827
43.108
28.2568
45.4323
43.1515
39.032
25.6039
42.7478
42.1536

61.11
56.7
52.26
47.7
46
45.9
40.09
39
36.7

90.1019
97.8166

36.147
22.087

36.08
34.1

Ramer
Trapezoid
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Libya map

Trapezoid

Consumed Time(ms)

Ramer

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50
40
30
20
10
0

80

85

90

98

CR(%)

Figure 13. Results of compression versus time for 'Libya map' contour

TABLE IV.
RESULTS OF COMPRESSION FOR
'ARABIC LETTERS' CONTOUR
(b)

(a)

Compression
Method
Ramer
Arabic Letters

(c)

(d)

Trapezoid
Figure 11. (a) Original contour of 'Libya map, (b, c, d) Compressed
contour at CR= 85% using (Ramer, Trapezoid, Adaptive-Triangle)
methods respectively.

CR%
75.101

SNR
(dB)
45.46

Time
'ms'
5,849

80.2778
84.6075

44.394
41.6075

4,834.1
5,814.4

74.899
80
85.1263

45.3307
43.936
41.1687

5,337
7,383.5
4,976.6

75.0253
80.0379
85.101

44.4665
41.9843
39.6863

5,788
6,354
4,852

SNR (dB)

Ramer
Trapezoid
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30

(a)

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93

94

(b)

95

CR (%)

(c)
Figure 12. SNR versus CR for Ramer, Trapezoid, and AdaptiveTriangle compression algorithms of 'Libya map' image.

(d)

Figure 14. (a) Original contour of 'Arabic Letter, (b, c, d) Compressed

contour at CR= 85% using (Ramer, Trapezoid, Adaptive-Triangle)
methods respectively.

The First Scientific Symposium Of Electrical And Electronic Engineering (EEES) 2016

Ramer
Trapezoid

45

44

SNR(dB)

43

42

41

with other two algorithms. Trapezoid algorithm is the

fastest algorithm, but its compression quality is lowest
among the other methods (Ramer, Adaptive-Triangle).
Adaptive-Triangle method makes balance between speed
and compression quality. The short computational time
and good quality of compression are the main features of
the proposed algorithm.

Arabic Letters

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6. CONCLUSIONS

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83

84

85

86

87

88

CR(%)

Figure 15. SNR versus CR for Ramer, Trapezoid, and AdaptiveTriangle compression algorithms of 'Arabic Letters' image.

Ramer
Trapezoid
300

250

SNR(dB)

200

150

100

50

80

85

90

97

CR(%)

Figure 16. Results of compression versus time for 'Arabic Letters'

contour using (Ramer, Trapezoid, Adaptive-Triangle) methods.

In this paper, a three algorithms of Ramer, Trapezoid

& Adaptive-Triangle methods for compressing Arabic
words contours are introduced and analyzed. The
methods drawbacks and advantages were discussed in
detail. This study concludes that the analyzed algorithms
gives higher compression for single as well as for multicontours with some small significant loses of contour
approximation quality. The compression ratio obtained by
these algorithms can be greater than or equal to 96% with
accepted significant visible distortion. The presented
results show that the Trapezoid algorithm for Arabic
contour approximation are many times faster than Ramer
The Adaptive-Triangle method is suitable in various
applications of contour compression, where both speed
and quality are significant at the same time. The
simplicity of algorithms is also an important feature of
the analyzed methods in terms of both memory
requirements and fitting with in complication criterion.

REFERENCES
[1]

[2]

The results in comparison between compression

methods are listed below:
Figures show the relationship between compression ratio
(CR) and signal to noise ratio (SNR) using (Ramer,
all tested contours.
From these figures we can see that in all presented
compression methods, the compression quality is good,
even at higher compression ratios which caused some
distortion in the compression quality in the contours.
Ramer algorithm achieves the highest quality of
compression compared with the other two algorithms
needs longer time to execute the operations compared

[3]

[4]

[5]
[6]
[7]

U. Ramer, An iterative procedure for the Polygonal

approximation of plane curves, Computer Graphic and Image
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A. Ukasha, E. Saffor and M. Hassan, Contour Compression using
Trapezoid method, International Symposium Computer and
Information Sciences (IEEE/ISCIS), Istanbul, Turkey, 2008.
A. Ukasha, Arabic Letters Compression using New Algorithm of
Trapezoid method, International Conference on Signal
Processing, Robotics and Automation (ISPRA'10), Cambridge,
United Kingdom, 2010, pp. 336-341.
M. El Bireki, R. Albahi, Ali Ukasha, M. Abdullah, An AdaptiveTriangle Method for Contour Data Approximation, International
Journal of Theoretical and Applied Information Technology
(JATT), ISSN: 1992-8645, 2015, pp. 343-348.
A. K. Jain, Fundamentals of Digital Image Processing, New
Jersey: Prentice Hall International, 1989.
R. C. Gonzalez, Digital Image Processing, Second Edition,