A study of the effects of ageing on the characteristics of handwriting and signatures


The work presented in this thesis is focused on the understanding of factors that are unique to the elderly and their use of biometric systems. In particular, an investigation is carried out with a focus on the handwritten signature as the biometric modality of choice. This followed on from an in-depth analysis of various biometric modalities such as voice, fingerprint and face. This analysis aimed at investigating the inclusivity of and the policy guiding the use of biometrics by the elderly. Knowledge gained from extracted features of the handwritten signatures of the elderly shed more light on and exposed the uniqueness of some of these features in their ability to separate the elderly from the young. Consideration is also given to a comparative analysis of another handwriting task, that of copying text both in cursive and block capitals. It was discovered that there are features that are unique to each task. Insight into the human perceptual capability in inspecting signatures, in assessing complexity and in judging imitations was gained by analysing responses to practical scenarios that applied human perceptual judgement. Features extracted from a newly created database containing handwritten signatures donated by elderly subjects allowed the possibility of analysing the intra-class variations that exist within the elderly population

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