Farsi/Arabic handwritten digit recognition based on ensemble of SVD classifiers and reliable multi-phase PSO combination rule

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10032-012-0195-7

Cite this article as:
Salimi, H. & Giveki, D. IJDAR (2013) 16: 371. doi:10.1007/s10032-012-0195-7


The problem of handwritten digit recognition has long been an open problem in the field of pattern classification and of great importance in industry. The heart of the problem lies within the ability to design an efficient algorithm that can recognize digits written and submitted by users via a tablet, scanner, and other digital devices. From an engineering point of view, it is desirable to achieve a good performance within limited resources. To this end, we have developed a new approach for handwritten digit recognition that uses a small number of patterns for training phase. To improve the overall performance achieved in classification task, the literature suggests combining the decision of multiple classifiers rather than using the output of the best classifier in the ensemble; so, in this new approach, an ensemble of classifiers is used for the recognition of handwritten digit. The classifiers used in proposed system are based on singular value decomposition (SVD) algorithm. The experimental results and the literature show that the SVD algorithm is suitable for solving sparse matrices such as handwritten digit. The decisions obtained by SVD classifiers are combined by a novel proposed combination rule which we named reliable multi-phase particle swarm optimization. We call the method “Reliable” because we have introduced a novel reliability parameter which is applied to tackle the problem of PSO being trapped in local minima. In comparison with previous methods, one of the significant advantages of the proposed method is that it is not sensitive to the size of training set. Unlike other methods, the proposed method uses just 15 % of the dataset as a training set, while other methods usually use (60–75) % of the whole dataset as the training set. To evaluate the proposed method, we tested our algorithm on Farsi/Arabic handwritten digit dataset. What makes the recognition of the handwritten Farsi/Arabic digits more challenging is that some of the digits can be legally written in different shapes. Therefore, 6000 hard samples (600 samples per class) are chosen by K-nearest neighbor algorithm from the HODA dataset which is a standard Farsi/Arabic digit dataset. Experimental results have shown that the proposed method is fast, accurate, and robust against the local minima of PSO. Finally, the proposed method is compared with state of the art methods and some ensemble classifier based on MLP, RBF, and ANFIS with various combination rules.


Classifiers combination Two-dimensional PCA (2DPCA) Singular value decomposition (SVD) Particle swarm optimization (PSO) Reliability 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mathematics and Computer ScienceUniversity of TehranTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Information and Communication TechnologiesUniversitat Pompeu FabraBarcelonaSpain

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