IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence

The role of holistic paradigms in handwritten word recognition

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The Holistic paradigm in handwritten word recognition treats the word as a single, indivisible entity and attempts to recognize words from their overall shape, as opposed to their character contents. In this survey, we have attempted to take a fresh look at the potential role of the Holistic paradigm in handwritten word recognition. The survey begins with an overview of studies of reading which provide evidence for the existence of a parallel holistic reading process in both developing and skilled readers. In what we believe is a fresh perspective on handwriting recognition, approaches to recognition are characterized as forming a continuous spectrum based on the visual complexity of the unit of recognition employed and an attempt is made to interpret well-known paradigms of word recognition in this framework. An overview of features, methodologies, representations, and matching techniques employed by holistic approaches is presented. Index Terms-Handwriting recognition, holistic paradigms, analytical methods, reading theory, pattern recognition. A ©2001 IEEE.