What is emerging from the digital book revolution is a state of technology that has brought new affordances to the book, such as search, hyperlinking, personalization, dynamic content, 24/7 access, automated indexing and summarizing, aggregated content, and new modes of reading and access. These could solve some of the issues users have with the static content of traditional bound volumes, but the technology so far has staunchly ignored the tried and true technologies of books, such as infinite resolution, high contrast, low glare, haptic navigation, typographic niceties, and the rights of first sale to borrow, lend, or resell a work. By exploring a survey of literature, reviews, and user tests, I intend to address the point of how the current concept of the digital book is an inappropriate tool for the user and the task of reading, and as a result not been enthusiastically embraced by the market. The collected evidence indicates that it is impossible to forget our past in our quest for the future, and that technology can help us to unite the disparate realities of analog and digital to create a truly digital book.
As envisioned here, an "interactive publication" has similarities to multimedia documents that have been in existence for a decade or more, but possesses specific differentiating characteristics. In common usage, the latter refers to online entities that, in addition to text, consist of files of images and video clips residing separately in databases, rarely providing immediate context to the document text. While an interactive publication has many media objects as does the "traditional" multimedia document, it is a self-contained document, either as a single file with media files embedded
within it, or as a "folder" containing tightly linked media files. The main characteristic that differentiates an interactive publication from a traditional multimedia document is that the reader would be able to reuse the media content for analysis and presentation, and to check the underlying data and possibly derive alternative conclusions leading, for example, to more in-depth peer reviews. We have created prototype publications containing paginated text and several media types encountered in the biomedical literature: 3D animations of anatomic structures; graphs, charts and tabular data; cell development images (video sequences); and clinical images such as CT, MRI and ultrasound in the DICOM format. This paper presents developments to date including: a tool to convert static tables or graphs into interactive entities, authoring procedures followed to create prototypes, and advantages and drawbacks of each of these platforms. It also outlines future work including meeting the challenge of network distribution for these large files.
In today's cost-conscious business climate, marketing and customer service decision makers are increasingly concerned with how to increase customer response and retention rates. Companies spend large amounts of money on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions and data acquisition but they don't know how to use the information stored in these systems to improve the effectiveness of their direct marketing campaigns. By leveraging the customer information they already have, companies can create personalized, printed direct mail programs that generate high response rates, greater returns, and stronger customer loyalty, while gaining a significant edge over their competitors. To reach the promised land of one-to-one direct marketing (personalized direct marketing - PDM), companies need an end-to-end solution for creating, managing, printing, and distributing personalized direct mail "on demand." Having access to digital printing is just one piece of the solution. A more complete approach includes leveraging personalization technology into a useful direct marketing tool that provides true one-to-one marketing, allowing variable images and text in a personalized direct mail. This paper discusses integration of CRM with a Print-on-Demand solution so as to create truly personalized printed marketing campaigns for one or many individuals based on the profile information, preferences and purchase history stored in the CRM.
To run a targeted campaign involves coordination and management across numerous organizations and complex process flows. Everything from market analytics on customer databases, acquiring content and images, composing the materials, meeting the sponsoring enterprise brand standards, driving through production and fulfillment, and evaluating results; all processes are currently performed by experienced highly trained staff. Presented is a developed solution that not only brings together technologies that automate each process, but also automates the entire flow so that a novice user could easily run a successful campaign from their desktop. This paper presents the technologies, structure, and process flows used to bring this system together. Highlighted will be how the complexity of running a targeted campaign is hidden from the user through technologies, all while providing the benefits of a professionally managed campaign.
Electronic computers and display devices began a movement of documents from paper form to electronic form. But the vast array of options for electronic displays is so much broader than the options available on paper that the basic nature of a document and how it is created is changing. It is not simply providing an electronic analog to paper documents that is happening but we are positioned to take more advantage of the electronic components becoming available and their interconnectivity using networks like the Internet to provide more useful and pertinent information in the form of modern intelligent documents. We discuss the opportunities and possible ways to take advantage of these opportunities to move documents into a new realm.
With the dynamic generation of documents and their presentation on various output devices, it is valuable to automatically adjust their layout and style. Measures for layout desirability have typically focused on document aesthetics (making the document look good). But other values are also important. This paper explores measures for the effectiveness with which style and layout convey the document's logical structure. This primarily contributes to the document's ease of use. The measures described are the group identity, separability and distinguishablity of elements. These measures are defined as combinations of simpler, properties that are practical to calculate.
Symmetry is one of the most fundamental principles in design. The choice between symmetry and asymmetry affects the layout and feeling of a design. A symmetrical page gives a feeling of permanence and stability, while informal or asymmetrical balance creates interest. The aim of this paper is to solve the problem of an automatic detection of axial and radial symmetry or lack of it in published documents. Previous approaches to this problem gave only a necessary
condition for symmetry. We present a necessary and sufficient criterion for automatic symmetry detection and also introduce a Euclidean-type distance from any layout to the closest symmetrical one . We present mathematical proof that the measure of symmetry we introduce is exact and accurate. It coincides with intuition and can be effectively calculated. Moreover, any other symmetry criterion will be a derivative of this measure.
This paper presents two complementary methods to help in the area of document creation where the document includes color templates (banners, clipart, logos, etc.) as well as photographs. The problems that are being addressed are: given a photograph that a document needs to be built around, extract a good palette of colors that harmonize with the selected photograph, which may be used to generate the color template; The images are segmented with a color based morphological approach, which identifies regions with a dominant color. Based on the morphology of such "color" regions, and the other color objects in the template the scheme will pick a set of possible color harmonies (affine, complementary, split complementary, triadic) for such color elements within the document based on the combined morphology image-document. If the image is changed in the future the color scheme could be changed automatically. Given a document color template, identify from a collection of images the best set that will harmonize with it. The document color template is analyzed in the same way as above, and the results are used to query an image database
in order to pick a set of images that will harmonize the best with such a color scheme.
Ringing artifacts refer to the noisy-looking vicinity of edges that are supposed to belong to a smooth object. In this paper, we propose a no-reference method to measure the visual impact of ringing artifacts for JPEG images. Unlike previous work, we perform a global analysis on the smooth regions in a JPEG image and classify them into different objects according to their colors and texture characteristics. We study the region activity for each type of the object in the image and assign an appropriate proxy object to each potential ringing region adjacent to an edge. The contrast between the noise levels of the ringing regions and their proxies are used to determine the visual impact of the ringing artifact. Finally, a ringing feature is computed for each edge pixel based on the feature values of the ringing artifacts in a local window. We thus obtain a ringing map to indicate the visibility of local ringing artifacts. Our preliminary results show a consistency between our model and the visual impact of the ringing artifacts.
The system presented integrates rule-based and case-based reasoning for artifact recognition in Digital Publishing. In Variable Data Printing (VDP) human proofing could result prohibitive since a job could contain millions of different instances that may contain two types of artifacts: 1) evident defects, like a text overflow or overlapping 2) style-dependent artifacts, subtle defects that show as inconsistencies with regard to the original job design. We designed a Knowledge-Based Artifact Recognition tool for document segmentation,
layout understanding, artifact detection, and document design quality assessment. Document evaluation is constrained by reference to one instance of the VDP job proofed by a human expert against the remaining instances. Fundamental rules of document design are used in the rule-based component for document segmentation and layout understanding. Ambiguities in the design principles not covered by the rule-based system are analyzed by case-based reasoning, using the Nearest Neighbor Algorithm, where features from previous jobs are used to detect artifacts and inconsistencies within the document layout. We used a subset of XSL-FO and assembled a set of 44 document samples. The system detected all the job layout changes, while
obtaining an overall average accuracy of 84.56%, with the highest accuracy of 92.82%, for overlapping and the lowest, 66.7%, for the lack-of-white-space.
In digital publishing, a low-resolution image is highly undesirable. Inexperienced users often try to include lowresolution images from the Internet or digital cameras in documents they are composing. Current preflight tools are able to single them out, but what if those low-resolution images have been interpolated? They may have a sufficient resolution, but their quality has been compromised, especially images interpolated by nearest-neighbor (which includes pixel replication) and bilinear interpolation. The interpolated images often display blocky artifacts, blurry artifacts, or loss of texture. In this paper, we outline novel nearest-neighbor and bilinear interpolation detection algorithms that are designed to estimate rational resampling factors (above 1×) in both the vertical and horizontal dimensions. The robustness of these algorithms to several common post-processing algorithms is also evaluated.
In this paper we propose an analytical model of the skew effect in digital press characterization. Digital press characterization gives critical information based on which one can predict how a certain layout, images, and text will be rendered by the press on a particular substrate. Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) analysis
characterizes the digital press of interest using MTF test patches designed with different spatial frequencies, tone levels, angles, and colors. These patches are printed and then scanned. However, at high spatial frequencies, a small mis-registration in the scanned image can produce large distortion. Skew is a common image misregistration introduced in image analysis processes due to the imperfect alignment between the scan target media and the scanning device. The conventional method of de-skewing by rotating the scanned image is not desirable because of the large amount of data in high resolution scans. We present a strategy for rejecting skewed images based on the skew angle and the error tolerance so that they can be rescanned and also a simple procedure to correct the skew effect based on our analytical model. With our scheme, special marks are designed and printed along with the MTF test target page to aid the calculation of the skew angle. A threshold for the acceptable maximum skew angle is calculated using the properties of the MTF test target page pattern and the error tolerance. An image with skew angle larger than the threshold will be rejected. A look-up table can be generated to compensate for the skew effect on the MTF measurement.
This paper addresses the variations and adaptations of processes needed for verifying print quality in real time for high-speed digital printers. The term high-speed is here defined to be more than 750 printed pages per minute. The processes used for print verification are based on very high speed image processing technology applied to scanned images of the printed pages. Print verification is done by scanning the printed copies on the obverse and reverse web sides thereby forming two streams of digitized images. Digitized images from each scanned image stream are then spatially aligned page by page, line by line and pixel by pixel with digitized images from a corresponding source streams. The accuracy of alignment needed to compensate for the poor dimensional stability of paper creates a need for considerable sophistication in image alignment. The source and aligned scanned images are compared to find pixel sequences that are different. The intent is to identify all differences, either missing-black or unexpected-black, that are larger than a 0.01 inch (0.25 mm) square. These differences may represent unacceptable defects in the printed copies.
The inventions of the internet, computers and various small devices have enabled new publishing methods and workflows. In this paper, we describe a few technologies developed in our laboratory that address the challenges arising in the new publishing age.
Viewing document images on small devices is a challenge. When showing a region of a page for reading on a small display a page overview is generally lost. If a page overview is desired, typically a low resolution version of the image fitting a small array of pixels - a thumbnail - is provided. Whereas the readability of text in thumbnails is often lost, document layout information may or may not be preserved. Preserving document layout information in thumbnails is the goal of this paper. We derive models for controlling the preservation of document layout information in thumbnails by determining the size of a thumbnail depending on the layout content of the document. The downsampling factor for a document image will depend on its layout information, such that layout units will be visually separate after scaling. The link between scaling factors and document layout information is created through novel models, White Space Graphs and White Space Trees. These models enable control over enhancement and suppression of document layout structures during
scaling. Minimal scaling factors can be derived that assure visual separability of a controlled set of layout units after scaling. Those scaling factors depends on the document content as well as user and display specifications.
In variable data printing (VDP), it is desirable to automatically fit an arbitrary shaped image object into an arbitrarily shaped copy hole in a template with maximized use of the available space. In this paper, we describe a practical image processing method that segments out the object and determines the scale and translation factors for the optimal fitting. For our application, an image object is placed on a uniformed color background in a JPEG compressed image file. The compression artifacts around the object boundary area complicate object segmentation. In order to identify object boundary precisely, we developed an orientation-dependent adaptive region growing method, which significantly improve the boundary accuracy. In the first step, we identify the background pixels using zero thresholding. Connectivity analysis is then performed to remove very small blobs. Mathematical morphological operations are applied to background pixels in order to smooth the border. In the second step, object boundaries are refined using the proposed orientation-dependent adaptive region growing. In determining the optimal scale and translation, we use an image-based exhaustive search algorithm that steps through a set of scaling factors in descending order until a complete fit is found. The exit scaling factor along with the associated mass center of the feasible translations are then used for the object placement.
It is just over 20 years since Adobe's PostScript opened a new era in digital documents. PostScript allows most details of rendering to be hidden within the imaging device itself, while providing a rich set of primitives enabling document engineers to think of final-form rendering as being just a sophisticated exercise in computer graphics. The refinement of the PostScript model into PDF has been amazingly successful in creating a nearuniversal interchange format for complex and graphically rich digital documents but the PDF format itself is neither easy to create nor to amend. In the meantime a whole new world of digital documents has sprung up centred around XML-based technologies. The most widespread example is XHTML (with optional CSS styling) but more recently we have seen Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) emerge as an XML-based, low-level, rendering language with PostScript-compatible rendering semantics. This paper surveys graphically-rich final-form rendering technologies and asks how flexible they can be in allowing adjustments to be made to final appearance without the need for regenerating a whole page or an entire document. Particular attention is focused on the relative merits of SVG and PDF in this regard and on the desirability, in any document layout language, of being able to manipulate the graphic properties of document components parametrically, and at a level of granularity smaller than an entire page.
One recurring problem in Variable Data Printing (VDP) is that the existing contents cannot satisfy the VDP task as-is. So there is a strong need for content fitting technologies to support high-value digital publishing applications, in which text and image are the two major types of contents. This paper presents meta-Autocrop framework for image fitting and TextFlex technology for text fitting. The meta-Autocrop framework supports multiple modes: fixed aspect-ratio mode, advice mode, and verification mode. The TextFlex technology supports non-rectangular text wrapping and paragraph-based line breaking. We also demonstrate how these content fitting technologies are utilized in the overall automated composition and layout system.
Page breaking algorithms are responsible for the task of splitting the content of a document (text, images, footnotes, ...) into pages, respecting a set of rules stating where page breaks are allowed and where they should be avoided. In doing this, these algorithms should also guarantee that the content placed into each page fits the available area without leaving any unexpected space, but this desirable feature is not implemented in existing pagination applications, forcing users to manually adjust some properties (such as word spacing, letter spacing, etc.) to locally valid values page by page. We describe an algorithm that, on the contrary, works automatically and globally on the whole document, building a set of
page breaks that require a minimal set of adjustments in order to fill perfectly the available space. Users can guide the algorithm by setting a list of properties that can be modified; the list also specifies the priority order in the adjustment of these properties. The algorithm has been implemented into Apache FOP; the list of properties and the request for an optimized set of page breaks are set directly into the input files as extensions to the XSL-FO standard.
Highly customised variable-data documents make automatic layout of the resulting publication hard. Architectures for defining and processing such documents can benefit if the repertoire of layout methods available can be extended smoothly and easily to accommodate new styles of customisation. The Document Description Framework incorporates a model for declarative document layout and processing where documents are treated as functional programs. A canonical XML tree contains nodes describing layout instructions which will modify and combine their children component parts to build sections of the final presentation. Leaf components such as images, vector graphic fragments and text blocks are 'rendered' to make consistent graphical atoms. These parts are then processed by layout agents, described and parameterised by their parent nodes, which can range from simple layouts like translations, flows, encapsulations and tables through to highly complex arrangements such as constraint-solution or pagination. The result then becomes a 'molecule' for processing at a higher level of the layout tree. A variable and reference mechanism is included for resolving rendering interdependency and supporting component reuse. Addition of new layout types involves definition of a new combinator node and attachment of a suitable agent.
Publishing industry is experiencing a major paradigm shift with the advent of digital publishing technologies. A large number of components in the publishing and print production workflow are transformed in this shift. However, the process as a whole requires a great deal of human intervention for decision making and for resolving exceptions during job execution. Furthermore, a majority of the best-of-breed applications for publishing and print production are intrinsically designed and developed to be driven by humans. Thus, the human-intensive nature of the current prepress process accounts for a very significant amount of the overhead costs in fulfillment of jobs on press. It is a challenge to automate the functionality of applications built with the model of human driven exectution. Another challenge is to orchestrate various components in the publishing and print production pipeline such that they work in a seamless manner to enable the system to perform automatic detection of potential failures and take corrective actions in a proactive manner. Thus, there is a great need for a coherent and unifying workflow architecture that streamlines the process and automates it as a whole in order to create an end-to-end digital automated print production workflow that does not involve any human intervention. This paper describes an architecture and building blocks that lay the foundation for a plurality of automated print production workflows.
This paper presents the advances in developing a dynamic scheduling technique suitable for automating digital publishing workflows. Traditionally scheduling in digital publishing has been limited to timing criteria. The proposed scheduling strategy takes into account contingency and priority fluctuations. The new scheduling algorithm, referred to as QB-MUF, gives high priority to jobs with low probability of failing according to artifact recognition and workflow modeling critera. The experimental results show the suitability and efficiency of the scheduling strategy.
A low cost method and device for creating saddle stitch bound booklet documents is described. The device allows saddle stitch bound documents to be made using a unique low force method that avoids the issues and limitations found in commercial booklet making hardware. Typical commercial devices use high force industrial equipment that are physically bulky, unsafe, and expensive. The approach detailed here utilizes precision, light force, sheet-wise operations on individual sheets of paper to produce saddle stitch booklets, leveraging knowledge in precision paper handling and positioning. This method facilitates bound document creation with hardware that is compatible with common desktop and workgroup printer's sheet-at-a-time printing processes, but at a fraction of the cost of comparable commercial binding hardware. This platform enables the final part of the promise of desktop publishing.
Based on the production practices of a representative sampling of graphic arts professionals, a series of tests were conducted to determine the potential color variance incurred during specific production-based PDF workflows. The impact of key production variables--including the use of ICC profiles, methods and settings used for PDF distillation, and printer/RIP color management handling for PDF rendering--were examined for RGB, CMYK and select spot colors
to determine the potential magnitude of color variation under normal production conditions. The results of the study, quantified via paired comparison and delta E, showed that, while color variance could be kept to a minimum using very specific workflow configurations, significant color variation was incurred in many of the common workflow configurations representative of the production environments observed from the sample population. Further, even
compliance to PDF-X1a and PDF-X3 specifications allowed for unwanted variation depending on specific production activities that preceded or followed the creation of the PDF-X file.