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A key property of Chinese characters is that they are composed of fundamental parts called radicals. In this paper, a method to recognise (offline) the radicals of handwritten Chinese characters is proposed that is an extension of the authors' previous work based on active shape modelling. Three stages are involved: a set of example radicals is first described by landmarks using (mostly) automatic landmark labelling, then radicals are modelled as active shapes using kernel principal component analysis, and finally unseen radicals are matched to the reference models using a genetic algorithm to search for the optimal shape parameters. Experiments are conducted on a 430,800 character subset of the freely-available HITPU database, a collection of 751,000 loosely-constrained handwritten Chinese characters. Results show that this new method outperforms existing representative radical approaches, including the authors' own earlier work. Improvements on the previous work are made in two aspects: automatic landmark labelling, which renders this methodology more practical, and the use of a genetic algorithm which finds the optimal shape parameters more effectively, leading to the best results so far reported on this dataset.
Vision, Image and Signal Processing, IEE Proceedings - (Volume:152 , Issue: 5 )
Date of Publication: 7 Oct. 2005