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In this study, the authors present a novel dissimilarity-based signature modelling framework for writer-independent off-line signature verification. The proposed framework utilises a discrete Radon transform and a dynamic time warping algorithm for writer-independent signature representation in dissimilarity space, and a writer-specific strategy for dissimilarity normalisation. A discriminative classifier, either a discriminant function or a support vector machine, is utilised for verification purposes. Both linear and non-linear decision boundaries are considered. The authors show that the novel techniques presented in this study provide an improved platform for writer-independent signature modelling. When evaluated on Dolfing's data set, a signature database that contains 1530 genuine signatures and 3000 amateur skilled forgeries, the systems presented in this study outperform all previous systems also evaluated on this data set.