Language Model Integration for the Recognition of Handwritten Medieval Documents

M. Wüthrich; Marcus Liwicki; A. Fischer; E. Indermühle; H. Bunke; G. Viehhauser; M. Stolz
In: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Document Analysis and Recognition 2009. International Conference on Document Analysis and Recognition (ICDAR-09), July 26-29, Barcelona, Spain, Pages 211-215, 2009.


Building recognition systems for historical documents is a difficult task. Especially, when it comes to medieval scripts. The complexity is mainly affected by the poor quality and the small quantity of the data available. In this paper we apply an HMM based recognition system to medieval manuscripts from the 13th century written in Middle High German. The recognition system, which was originally developed for modern scripts, has been adapted to medieval scripts. Beside the data processing, one of the major challenges is to create a suitable language model. Because of the lack of appropriate independent text corpora for medieval languages, the language model has to be created on the base of a rather small number of manuscripts only. Due to the small size of the corpus, optimizing the language model parameters can quickly lead to the problem of overfitting. In this paper we describe a strategy to integrate all available information into the language model and to optimize the language model parameters without suffering from this problem.



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