LayoutLM: Pre-training of Text and Layout for Document Image Understanding

KDD 2020 |

Pre-training techniques have been verified successfully in a variety of NLP tasks in recent years. Despite the widespread of pre-training models for NLP applications, they almost focused on text-level manipulation, while neglecting the layout and style information that is vital for document image understanding. In this paper, we propose the LayoutLM to jointly model the interaction between text and layout information across scanned document images, which is beneficial for a great number of real-world document image understanding tasks such as information extraction from scanned documents. Furthermore, we also leverage the image features to incorporate the visual information of words into LayoutLM. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that text and layout are jointly learned in a single framework for document-level pre-training. It achieves new state-of-the-art results in several downstream tasks, including form understanding (from 70.72 to 79.27), receipt understanding (from 94.02 to 95.24) and document image classification (from 93.07 to 94.42). The code and pre-trained LayoutLM models are publicly available at https://github.com/microsoft/unilm/tree/master/layoutlm.