Pen-Chant : Acoustic Emissions of Handwriting and Drawing

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Seniuk, Andrew G.
Pattern Recognition , Handwriting Recognition
The sounds generated by a writing instrument ("pen-chant") provide a rich and under-utilized source of information for pattern recognition. We examine the feasibility of recognition of handwritten cursive text, exclusively through an analysis of acoustic emissions. We design and implement a family of recognizers using a template matching approach, with templates and similarity measures derived variously from: smoothed amplitude signal with fixed resolution, discrete sequence of magnitudes obtained from peaks in the smoothed amplitude signal, and ordered tree obtained from a scale space signal representation. Test results are presented for recognition of isolated lowercase cursive characters and for whole words. We also present qualitative results for recognizing gestures such as circling, scratch-out, check-marks, and hatching. Our first set of results, using samples provided by the author, yield recognition rates of over 70% (alphabet) and 90% (26 words), with a confidence of 8%, based solely on acoustic emissions. Our second set of results uses data gathered from nine writers. These results demonstrate that acoustic emissions are a rich source of information, usable - on their own or in conjunction with image-based features - to solve pattern recognition problems. In future work, this approach can be applied to writer identification, handwriting and gesture-based computer input technology, emotion recognition, and temporal analysis of sketches.
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