Combining diverse on-line and off-line systems for handwritten text line recognition

Marcus Liwicki, Horst Bunke

In: Pattern Recognition (PR) 42 12 Seiten 3254-3263 Elsevier Science Inc. NY 2009.


In this paper we present a multiple classifier system (MCS) for on-line handwriting recognition. The MCS combines several individual recognition systems based on hidden Markov models (HMMs) and bidirectional long short-term memory networks (BLSTM). Beside using two different recognition architectures (HMM and BLSTM), we use various feature sets based on on-line and off-line features to obtain diverse recognizers. Furthermore, we generate a number of different neural network recognizers by changing the initialization parameters. To combine the word sequences output by the recognizers, we incrementally align these sequences using the recognizer output voting error reduction framework (ROVER). For deriving the final decision, different voting strategies are applied. The best combination ensemble has a recognition rate of 84.13%, which is significantly higher than the 83.64% achieved if only one recognition architecture (HMM or BLSTM) is used for the combination, and even remarkably higher than the 81.26% achieved by the best individual classifier. To demonstrate the high performance of the classification system, the results are compared with two widely used commercial recognizers from Microsoft and Vision Objects.


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Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence