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Character recognition upgrades. The percentage of OCR-readable mail actually read by the single-line OCRs used by USPS, although meeting USPS performance specifications, is still far less than 100 percent. USPS has assumed an average read rate of 70 percent. One way to improve performance is to upgrade the character recognition technology.

Current character recognition technology uses mask matching, whereby character patterns are stored in electronic memory and matched against the actual characters in

the address. alphanumeric

But because there are so many different sizes, shapes, and forms characters in U.S. mail addresses, not all characters are stored

electronic memory. address is not read.

If the computer cannot make a match within 100 milliseconds,

of in the

The overall read rate could be improved by, first, studying the rejected addresses and determining what types of characters are not being read. Then, OCR manufacturers could be solicited to develop improved character recognition technology that would read some or all of the characters rejected most frequently.

Address format standards.

Some OCR rejects are due to problems with the

location and format of addresses on envelopes. To receive must meet several mandatory requirements. These include:

a a

ZIP+4 discount, mailers barcode clear zone (at

the bottom right-hand portion of whatsoever are permitted; an OCR

the read

envelope) in which no area in which the city,

printing or markings State, and ZIP+4 code

line must be visible and unobstructed (no extraneous printed address with uniform character single and line of color contrast between the address and mail piece.

printing spacing;

or and

markings); machine- a reasonable degree


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