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Variable duration hidden Markov model and morphological segmentation for handwritten word recognition

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3 Author(s)
Chen, M.-Y. ; Dept. Appl. Software, Ind. Technol. Res. Inst., Hsinchu ; Kundu, A. ; Srihari, S.N.

This paper describes a complete system for the recognition of unconstrained handwritten words using a continuous density variable duration hidden Markov model (CD-VDHMM). First, a new segmentation algorithm based on mathematical morphology is developed to translate the 2-D image into a 1-D sequence of subcharacter symbols. This sequence of symbols is modeled by the CDVDHMM. Thirty-five features are selected to represent the character symbols in the feature space. Generally, there are two information sources associated with written text; the shape information and the linguistic knowledge. While the shape information of each character symbol is modeled as a mixture Gaussian distribution, the linguistic knowledge, i.e., constraint, is modeled as a Markov chain. The variable duration state is used to take care of the segmentation ambiguity among the consecutive characters. A modified Viterbi algorithm, which provides l globally best paths, is adapted to VDHMM by incorporating the duration probabilities for the variable duration state sequence. The general string editing method is used at the postprocessing stage. The detailed experiments are carried out for two postal applications; and successful recognition results are reported

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Image Processing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 12 )