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Writer adaptation for online handwriting recognition

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2 Author(s)
Connell, S.D. ; Agilent Technol., Palo Alto, CA, USA ; Jain, A.K.

Writer-adaptation is the process of converting a writer-independent handwriting recognition system into a writer-dependent system. It can greatly increasing recognition accuracy, given adequate writer models. The limited amount of data a writer provides during training constrains the models' complexity. We show how appropriate use of writer-independent models is important for the adaptation. Our approach uses writer-independent writing style models (lexemes) to identify the styles present in a particular writer's training data. These models are then updated using the writer's data. Lexemes in the writer's data for which an inadequate number of training examples is available are replaced with the writer-independent models. We demonstrate the feasibility of this approach on both isolated handwritten character recognition and unconstrained word recognition tasks. Our results show an average reduction in error rate of 16.3 percent for lowercase characters as compared against representing each of the writer's character classes with a single model. In addition, an average error rate reduction of 9.2 percent is shown on handwritten words using only a small amount of data for adaptation

Published in:

Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 3 )

Date of Publication:

Mar 2002

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