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Combining Neural Networks and Context-Driven Search for On-line, Printed Handwriting Recognition in the Newton

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Neural Networks: Tricks of the Trade

Part of the book series: Lecture Notes in Computer Science ((LNTCS,volume 7700))


While on-line handwriting recognition is an area of long-standing and ongoing research, the recent emergence of portable, pen-based computers has focused urgent attention on usable, practical solutions. We discuss a combination and improvement of classical methods to produce robust recognition of hand-printed English text, for a recognizer shipping in new models of Apple Computer’s Newton MessagePad® and eMate® . Combining an artificial neural network (ANN), as a character classifier, with a context-driven search over segmentation and word recognition hypotheses provides an effective recognition system. Long-standing issues relative to training, generalization, segmentation, models of context, probabilistic formalisms, etc., need to be resolved, however, to get excellent performance. We present a number of recent innovations in the application of ANNs as character classifiers for word recognition, including integrated multiple representations, normalized output error, negative training, stroke warping, frequency balancing, error emphasis, and quantized weights. User-adaptation and extension to cursive recognition pose continuing challenges.

Previously published in: Orr, G.B. and Müller, K.-R. (Eds.): LNCS 1524, ISBN 978-3-540-65311-0 (1998).

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Yaeger, L.S., Webb, B.J., Lyon, R.F. (2012). Combining Neural Networks and Context-Driven Search for On-line, Printed Handwriting Recognition in the Newton. In: Montavon, G., Orr, G.B., Müller, KR. (eds) Neural Networks: Tricks of the Trade. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 7700. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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