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Arabic Online Handwriting recognition (Open Vocabulary)

 Raid Saabni

Keyboards and electronic mice may not endure as the prevalent means of human-computer interfacing. Devices such as Tablet PC, hand-held computers, and mobile technology, provide significant opportunities for alternative interfaces works in forms smaller than keyboard and mouse. In addition, the need for more natural human-computer interfaces becomes ever more important as computer use reaches a larger number of people, and more of these people are in locations without a classic computer. Two such natural alternatives to typing are speech and handwriting, which are universal human communication methods. Both are potentially easier human-computer interfaces to learn by new users compared to keyboards. Although a handwriting interface expects users to be literate, it ensures a higher degree of privacy and confidentiality compared to speech.

Automatic handwriting recognition (HWR) has been classified into two categories based on the presentation of the data to the system: offline and online. Offline HWR  approaches do not require immediate interaction with the user. In a typical online handwriting recognition approach, a special stylus is used to write on a digital device (such as a digital tablet or touch screen). The digitized samples are fed to the system as a sequence of 2D-points in real-time, thus tracking additional temporal data not present in offline input.

We address the online handwriting recognition system for Arabic script, which is used in 20 various languages. We intend to perform the segmentation-free approach for recognition on the continuous word-part level while using elastic matching techniques for classification. Such a scheme avoids the segmentation of words into letters, which is often prone to errors.