A Handwritten Character Recognition System by Efficient Combination of Multiple Classifiers

Hideaki YAMAGATA  Hirobumi NISHIDA  Toshihiro SUZUKI  Michiyoshi TACHIKAWA  Yu NAKAJIMA  Gen SATO  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E79-D    No.5    pp.498-503
Publication Date: 1996/05/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Issue on Character Recognition and Document Understanding)
Category: Classification Methods
image processing,  character recognition,  multiple expert approach,  computer applications,  

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Handwritten character recognition has been increasing its importance and has been expanding its application areas such as office automation, postal service automation, automatic data entry to computers, etc. It is challenging to develop a handwritten character recognition system with high processing speed, high performance, and high portability, because there is a trade-off among them. In current technology, it is difficult to attain high performance and high processing speed at the same time with single algorithms, and therefore, we need to find an efficient way of combination of multiple algorithms. We present an engineering solution to this problem. The system is based on multi-stage strategy as a whole: The first stage is a simple, fast, and reliable recognition algorithm with low substitution-error rate, and data of high quality are recognized in this stage, whereas sloppily written or degraded data are rejected and sent out to the second stage. The second stage is composed of a sophisticated structural pattern classifier and a pattern matching classifier, and these two complementary algorithms run in parallel (multiple expert approach). We demonstrate the performance of the completed system by experiments using real data.