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On-line Handwriting Recognition with Support Vector Machines - A Kernel Approach

By Claus Bahlmann, Bernard Haasdonk and Hans Burkhardt


In this' contribution we describe a novel classification approach for on-line handwriting recognition. The technique combines dynamic time warping (DTW) and support vector machines (SVMs) by establishing a new SVM kernel. We call this' kernel Gaussian DTW (GDTW) ker- nel. This kernel approach haw' a main advantage over common HMM techniques. It does not assume a model for the generarive class conditional densities. Instead, it directly addresses the problem of discrimination by creating class boundaries and thus is' less sensitive to modeling assumptions. By incorporating DTW in the kernel function, general classification problems with variable-sized sequential data can be handled. In this respect the proposed method can be straightforwardly applied to all classification problems, where DTW gives a reasonable distance measure, e.g. speech recognition or genome processing. We show experiments with this' kernel approach on the UNIPEN handwriting data, achieving results' comparable to an HMMbased technique

Year: 2002
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