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Proceedings Paper

Component-based handprint segmentation using adaptive writing style model
Author(s): Michael D. Garris
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Paper Abstract

Building upon the utility of connected components, NIST has designed a new character segmentor based on statistically modeling the style of a person's handwriting. Simple spatial features capture the characteristics of a particular writer's style of handprint, enabling the new method to maintain a traditional character-level segmentation philosophy without the integration of recognition or the use of oversegmentation and linguistic postprocessing. Estimates for stroke width and character height are used to compute aspect ratio and standard stroke count features that adapt to the writer's style at the field level. The new method has been developed with a predetermined set of fuzzy rules making the segmentor much less fragile and much more adaptive, and the new method successfully reconstructs fragmented characters as well as splits touching characters. The new segmentor was integrated into the NIST public domain form-based handprint recognition systems and then tested on a set of 490 handwriting sample forms found in NIST special database 19. When compared to a simple component-based segmentor, the new adaptable method improved the overall recognition of handprinted digits by 3.4 percent and field level recognition by 6.9 percent, while effectively reducing deletion errors by 82 percent. The same program code and set of parameters successfully segments sequences of uppercase and lowercase characters without any context-based tuning. While not as dramatic as digits, the recognition of uppercase and lowercase characters improved by 1.7 percent and 1.3 percent respectively. The segmentor maintains a relatively straight-forward and logical process flow avoiding convolutions of encoded exceptions as is common in expert systems. As a result, the new segmentor operates very efficiently, and throughput as high as 362 characters per second can be achieved. Letters and numbers are constructed from a predetermined configuration of a relatively small number of strokes. Results in this paper show that capitalizing on this knowledge through the use of simple adaptable features can significantly improve segmentation, whereas recognition-based and oversegmentation methods fail to take advantage of these intrinsic qualities of handprinted characters.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 April 1997
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3027, Document Recognition IV, (3 April 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.270076
Show Author Affiliations
Michael D. Garris, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3027:
Document Recognition IV
Luc M. Vincent; Jonathan J. Hull, Editor(s)

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