Integrating Statistical and Structural Approaches to Handprinted Chinese Character Recognition

Wen-Chung KAO  Tai-Ming PARNG  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E81-D   No.4   pp.391-400
Publication Date: 1998/04/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Image Processing,Computer Graphics and Pattern Recognition
Chinese character recognition,  statistical approach,  structural approach,  stroke extraction,  substructure extraction,  

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Handprinted Chinese character recognition (HCCR) can be classified into two major approaches: statistical and structural. While neither of these two approaches can lead to a total and practical solution for HCCR, integrating them to take advantages of both seems to be a promising and obviously feasible approach. But, how to integrate them would be a big issue. In this paper, we propose an integrated HCCR system. The system starts from a statistical phase. This phase uses line-density-distribution-based features extracted after nonlinear normalization to guarantee that different writing variations of the same character have similar feature vectors. It removes accurately and efficiently the impossible candidates and results in a final candidate set. Then follows the structural phase, which inherits the line segments used in the statistical phase and extracts a set of stroke substructures as features. These features are used to discriminate the similar characters in the final candidate set and hence improve the recognition rate. Tested by using a large set of characters in a handprinted Chinese character database, the proposed HCCR system is robust and can achieve 96 percent accuracy for characters in the first 100 variations of the database.