Main Article Content
Purpose of the study: This paper aims to recognition of handwritten English characters in offline mode. It develops an efficient character recognition model avoiding large variations in handwriting by using better feature extraction techniques.
Methodology: The samples of characters are preprocessed by applying a sequence of operations in succession like Thickening, Thresholding, Filtering, and Thinning. Efficient features like Gradient features and Zonal features have been extracted. Gradient features are helpful to find out stroke information in the character whereas Zonal features detail out local information in a more précised way. Hidden Markov Model is the classifier.
Main Findings: Classification has been started with only a 5-state HMM model but it is observed that as the number of states of HMM model is increased, the corresponding recognition rate is also improved. Finally, with the 36 states HMM model we have got the expected result. This produces an overall average recognition rate of 92.6%. For the letters ‘A’ and ‘W’, the recognition rate is found to be very low, because of a lot of variations in writing style of these letters.
Applications of this study: HMM is a flexible tool which is capable of absorbing variations in character images. The future works will be concentrated on improvement of recognition rate of such letters by finding some demarcating features and post processing. The proposed method can be well used in Natural Language Processing, Signature verification, Face recognition like other Pattern Recognition applications.
Novelty/Originality of this study: Preprocessing uses Median filter which removes all stray marks in samples and hence avoids any possibility of false pixels. The combination of Gradient features and Zonal features leads to a recognition accuracy of 92.6% which may be used by researchers in any other domains for the purpose of classification. The application of HMM will motivate the readers to use it for better results of classification.
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