IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence

An off-line cursive handwriting recognition system

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This paper describes a complete system for the recognition of off-line handwriting. Preprocessing techniques are described, including segmentation and normalization of word images to give invariance to scale, slant, slope and stroke thickness. Representation of the image is discussed and the skeleton and stroke features used are described. A recurrent neural network is used to estimate probabilities for the characters represented in the skeleton. The operation of the hidden Markov model that calculates the best word in the lexicon is also described. Issues of vocabulary choice, rejection, and out-of-vocabulary word recognition are discussed. © 1998 IEEE.