Fixed-sized representation learning from offline handwritten signatures of different sizes

  • Luiz G. HafemannEmail author
  • Luiz S. Oliveira
  • Robert Sabourin
Special Issue Paper


Methods for learning feature representations for offline handwritten signature verification have been successfully proposed in recent literature, using deep convolutional neural networks to learn representations from signature pixels. Such methods reported large performance improvements compared to handcrafted feature extractors. However, they also introduced an important constraint: the inputs to the neural networks must have a fixed size, while signatures vary significantly in size between different users. In this paper, we propose addressing this issue by learning a fixed-sized representation from variable-sized signatures by modifying the network architecture, using spatial pyramid pooling. We also investigate the impact of the resolution of the images used for training and the impact of adapting (fine-tuning) the representations to new operating conditions (different acquisition protocols, such as writing instruments and scan resolution). On the GPDS dataset, we achieve results comparable with the state of the art, while removing the constraint of having a maximum size for the signatures to be processed. We also show that using higher resolutions (300 or 600 dpi) can improve performance when skilled forgeries from a subset of users are available for feature learning, but lower resolutions (around 100dpi) can be used if only genuine signatures are used. Lastly, we show that fine-tuning can improve performance when the operating conditions change.


Handwritten signature verification Representation learning Convolutional neural networks Transfer learning Domain adaptation 



This work was supported by the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies (FRQNT), the CNPq Grant #206318/2014-6 and by the Grant RGPIN-2015-04490 to Robert Sabourin from the NSERC of Canada. In addition, we gratefully acknowledge the support of NVIDIA with the donation of the Titan Xp GPU used in this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire d’imagerie, de vision et d’intelligence artificielle (LIVIA)École de technologie supérieureMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Department of InformaticsFederal University of Parana (UFPR)CuritibaBrazil

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