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US6513714: Character reconstruction and element level processing in bar code scanning system

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Filing Information

Inventor(s) Glen W. Davis · Jonathan R. Brandt ·
Assignee(s) PSC Scanning, Inc. ·
Attorney/Agent(s) Stoel Rives LLP ·
Primary Examiner Michael G. Lee ·
Assistant Examiner Jamara A. Franklin ·
Application Number US9394986
Filing date 09/13/1999
Issue date 02/04/2003
Predicted expiration date 09/13/2019
U.S. Classifications 235/462.16  · 235/462.01  ·
International Classifications --
Kind CodeB1
International Classifications 23546201-46249 ·
Related U.S. Application DataRELATED APPLICATION
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/100,288, filed Sep. 14, 1998.
31 Claims, 14 Drawings


Abstract

In a bar code scanning system, character reconstruction and element level processing techniques enable label information to be recreated from defective or corrupted information that would otherwise be undecodable by standard decoding algorithms. Reconstruction methods allow for undecodable characters or elements to be reconstructed from partial information based upon known or expected structural characteristics for the particular label symbologies being decoded. Element edge histograms, edge strength indicators and quality measures are used to enhance label readability and bar code scanner decoding capabilities.

Independent Claims | See all claims (31)

  1. 1. In a bar code scanning system, a method for compiling element width information from multiple scans of a barcode label for use in decoding character information comprising: receiving a first scan of label information from a barcode label, the label information comprising bar element information and space element information; capturing from the first scan of label information element widths in relation to the bar element information and element widths in relation to the space element information; separately storing bar element widths captured from the first scan in a first histogram and storing space element widths captured. from the first scan in a second histogram; receiving a second scan of label information from the barcode label, the second scan of label information comprising bar element information and space element information; and repeating the steps of capturing element widths and separately storing bar element widths in the first histogram and storing space element widths in the second histogram for the second scan of label information received, wherein the bar element widths captured from the second scan of label information are combined with the bar element widths previously stored in the first histogram and the space element widths captured from the second scan of label information are combined with the space element widths previously stored in the second histogram.
  2. 3. In a bar code scanning system, a method for compiling element width information from scans of label data for use in decoding character information comprising: receiving at least one scan of label information comprising bar element information and space element information; capturing element widths in relation to the bar element information and element widths in relation to the space element information; separately storing bar element widths and space element widths in at least one data store, respectively, wherein the bar element widths and space element widths are stored in respective data stores associated with corresponding ranges of element widths; repeating the steps of capturing element widths and separately storing bar element widths and space element widths for each scan of label information received; and calculating and storing the number of elements in a given range of element widths.
  3. 4. In a bar code scanning system, a method for compiling element width information from scans of label data for use in decoding character information comprising: receiving at least one scan of label information comprising bar element information and space element information; capturing element widths in relation to the bar element information and element widths in relation to the space element information; separately storing bar element widths and space element widths in at least one data store, respectively, wherein the bar element widths and space element widths are stored in respective data stores associated with corresponding ranges of element widths; repeating the steps of capturing element widths and separately storing bar element widths and space element widths for each scan of label information received; and calculating and storing the total sum of the widths in a given range of element widths.
  4. 5. In a bar code scanning system, a method for compiling element width information from scans of label data for use in decoding character information comprising: receiving at least one scan of label information comprising bar element information and space element information; capturing element widths in relation to the bar element information and element widths in relation to the space element information; separately storing bar element widths and space element widths in at least one data store, respectively, wherein the bar element widths and space element widths are stored in respective data stores associated with corresponding ranges of element widths; repeating the steps of capturing element widths and separately storing bar element widths and space element widths for each scan of label information received; and calculating and storing a value representing the average element widths for all scans of label information received.
  5. 6. In a bar code scanning system, a method for compiling element width information from scans of label data for use in decoding character information comprising: receiving at least one scan of label information comprising bar element information and space element information; capturing element widths in relation to the bar element information and element widths in relation to the space element information; separately storing bar element widths and space element widths in at least one data store, respectively; repeating the steps of capturing element widths and separately storing bar element widths and space element widths for each scan of label information received; capturing edge confidence levels in relation to the bar element information and the space element information; and calculating average edge confidence levels in relation to all of the edge confidence levels captured.
  6. 10. In a bar code scanning system, a method for distinguishing binary symbologies from multi-width symbologies through element width histograms generated from scans of label information comprising the steps of: gathering element width data in relation to the bar and space elements identified from scans of label information; storing the gathered element width data in association with element width ranges in a histogram, wherein the histogram comprises a series of element width ranges covering the possible element widths for a potential scanned label; finding peaks in the histogram; and decoding peaks in the histogram to determine whether the gathered element width data represents a binary symbology or a multi-width symbology.
  7. 17. In a bar code scanning system, a method for distinguishing binary symbologies from multi-width symbologies through element width histograms generated from scans of label information comprising the steps of: gathering element width data in relation to the bar and space elements identified from scans of label information; storing the gathered element width data in association with element width ranges in a histogram, wherein the histogram comprises a series of element width ranges covering the possible element widths for a potential scanned label; finding peaks in the histogram; and decoding peaks in the histogram to determine whether the gathered element width data represents a binary symbology or a multi-width symbology; wherein the steps of gathering and storing element width data comprise the steps of: identifying quiet zones of a potential label from the scans of label information; identifying element width data for bar elements and space elements, respectively, in relation to the identified quiet zones; adding identified bar element width data and space element width data, respectively, to the histogram in association with corresponding element width ranges; generating the number of elements in each element width range; and generating the total sum of all elements in each element width range, respectively.
  8. 18. In a bar code scanning system, a method for distinguishing binary symbologies from multi-width symbologies through element width histograms generated from scans of label information comprising the steps of: gathering element width data in relation to the bar and space elements identified from scans of label information; storing the gathered element width data in association with element width ranges in a histogram, wherein the histogram comprises a series of element width ranges covering the possible element widths for a potential scanned label; finding peaks in the histogram; and decoding peaks in the histogram to determine whether the gathered element width data represents a binary symbology or a multi-width symbology, wherein the step of finding peaks in the histogram comprises the steps of: generating sums of the number of elements in each consecutive set of two element width ranges for bar elements and space elements, respectively; searching the consecutive sets of two element width ranges for which sums were generated to identify peaks; calculating the average element width for each peak identified; and selecting all sets of two element width ranges wherein the generated sums are greater than the sums of both neighboring sets of two element width ranges.
  9. 19. In a bar code scanning system, a method for recreating an otherwise undecodable character from a scan of label data comprising label character information, the method comprising the steps of: receiving at least one scan of label character information comprising a plurality of characters, each character comprised of bar element width and space element width; identifying an undecodable character containing a corrupted element width from the scan; and reconstructing an originally intended element width associated with the undecodable character to correct for the corrupted element width and allow decoding of the undecodable character, wherein the step of reconstructing comprises the steps of determining expected element widths for bar and space elements in the undecodable character; comparing the bar and space element widths in the undecodable character against the expected element widths to identify the corrupted element width; and adjusting the corrupted element width based on the comparison against the expected element widths, the number of elements, the placement of elements, and the size of element widths expected for the symbology.
  10. 25. In a bar code scanning system, a method for recreating an otherwise undecodable character from a scan of label data comprising label character information, the method comprising the steps of: receiving at least one scan of label character information comprising a plurality of characters, each character comprised of bar element width and space element width; identifying an undecodable character containing a corrupted element width from the scan; and reconstructing an originally intended element width associated with the undecodable character to correct for the corrupted element width and allow decoding of the undecodable character, wherein the step of reconstructing comprises the steps of comparing the bar and space element width pattern of the undecodable character against all possible characters for the potential symbology represented by the scan of label data; identifying the closest match based on the comparison; and selecting the closest match as the decoded character upon validation through subsequent scans of label data.
  11. 27. In a bar code scanning system, a method for recreating an otherwise undecodable character from a scan of label data comprising label character information, the method comprising the steps of: receiving at least one scan of label character information comprising a plurality of characters, each character comprised of bar element width and space element width; identifying an undecodable character containing a corrupted element width from the scan; and reconstructing an originally intended element width associated with the undecodable character to correct for the corrupted element width and allow decoding of the undecodable character, wherein the steps of identifying an undecodable character containing a corrupted element width and reconstructing an originally intended element width comprise the steps of: determining which elements in the character are corrupted by calculating and setting category thresholds based on widths; sorting the elements into the categories by comparing each element in the character with the thresholds; sorting the elements into the different categorized ranges of widths; and reconstructing the character elements based upon rules applied to the results of the element sorting.
  12. 29. In a bar code scanning system, a method for compiling element width information from multiple scans of a barcode label for use in decoding character information comprising: receiving multiple scans of label information from a barcode label, the label information comprising bar element information and space element information; capturing element widths in relation to the bar element information and element widths in relation to the space element information; storing bar element widths captured from the multiple scans of label information in a first histogram and storing space element widths captured from the multiple scans of label information in a second histogram, wherein the bar element widths in the first histogram and the space element widths in the second histogram are stored in association with corresponding ranges of element widths; and calculating and storing the number of elements in a given range of element widths.
  13. 30. In a bar code scanning system, a method for compiling element width information from a single scan of label data for use in decoding character information comprising: receiving a scan of label information comprising bar element information and space element information; capturing element widths in relation to the bar element information and element widths in relation to the space element information; storing bar element widths in association with ranges of bar element widths in a first histogram and storing space element widths in association with ranges of space element widths in a second histogram; and calculating and storing the number of elements in a given range of element widths.

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Other Publications

Jonathan R. Brandt; Glen W. Davis and Charles F. Atwater, “Correlation and Stitching Techniques in a Bar Code Scanning System,” US application 09/394,340 filed Sep. 13, 1999. (Status: allowed).
Jonathan R. Brandt and Glen W. Davis, “Symbology Determination To Aid Decoding In a Bar Code Scanning System,” US application 09/395,023 filed Sep. 13, 1999. (Status: pending).
Glen W. Davis and Jonathan R. Brandt, “Decoding System and Methods in a Bar Code Scanning System,” US application 09/395,093 filed Sep. 13, 1999. (Status: pending).
Glen W. Davis and Jonathan R. Brandt, “Compensation For Scan Line Variation In a Bar Code Scanner System,” US application 09/394,339 filed Sep. 13, 1999. (Status: allowed).

Referenced By

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US7604174 Cognex Technology and Investment Corporation Carl W. Gerst, III et al. Oct 2009
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