A large vocabulary online handwriting recognition system for Turkish
Bilgin Taşdemir, Esma Fatıma (2018) A large vocabulary online handwriting recognition system for Turkish. [Thesis]
Handwriting recognition in general and online handwriting recognition in particular has been an active research area for several decades. Most of the research have been focused on English and recently on other scripts like Arabic and Chinese. There is a lack of research on recognition in Turkish text and this work primarily fills that gap with a state-of-the-art recognizer for the first time. It contains design and implementation details of a complete recognition system for recognition of Turkish isolated words. Based on the Hidden Markov Models, the system comprises pre-processing, feature extraction, optical modeling and language modeling modules. It considers the recognition of unconstrained handwriting with a limited vocabulary size first and then evolves to a large vocabulary system. Turkish script has many similarities with other Latin scripts, like English, which makes it possible to adapt strategies that work for them. However, there are some other issues which are particular to Turkish that should be taken into consideration separately. Two of the challenging issues in recognition of Turkish text are determined as delayed strokes which introduce an extra source of variation in the sequence order of the handwritten input and high Out-of-Vocabulary (OOV) rate of Turkish when words are used as vocabulary units in the decoding process. This work examines the problems and alternative solutions at depth and proposes suitable solutions for Turkish script particularly. In delayed stroke handling, first a clear definition of the delayed strokes is developed and then using that definition some alternative handling methods are evaluated extensively on the UNIPEN and Turkish datasets. The best results are obtained by removing all delayed strokes, with up to 2.13% and 2.03% points recognition accuracy increases, over the respective baselines of English and Turkish. The overall system performances are assessed as 86.1% with a 1,000-word lexicon and 83.0% with a 3,500-word lexicon on the UNIPEN dataset and 91.7% on the Turkish dataset. Alternative decoding vocabularies are designed with grammatical sub-lexical units in order to solve the problem of high OOV rate. Additionally, statistical bi-gram and tri-gram language models are applied during the decoding process. The best performance, 67.9% is obtained by the large stem-ending vocabulary that is expanded with a bi-gram model on the Turkish dataset. This result is superior to the accuracy of the word-based vocabulary (63.8%) with the same coverage of 95% on the BOUN Web Corpus.
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