White-space models for offline Arabic handwriting recognition

Philippe Dreuw, Stephan Jonas, Hermann Ney

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

37 Scopus citations


We propose to explicitly model white-spaces for Arabic handwriting recognition within different writing variants. Position-dependent character shapes in Arabic handwriting allow for large white-spaces between characters even within words. Here, a separate character model for white-spaces in combination with a lexicon using different writing variants and character model length adaptation is proposed. Current handwriting recognition systems model the white-spaces implicitly within the character models leading to possibly degraded models, or try to explicitly segment the Arabic words into pieces of Arabic words being prone to segmentation errors. Several white-space modeling approaches are analyzed on the well known IFN/ENIT database and outperform the best reported error rates.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2008 19th International Conference on Pattern Recognition, ICPR 2008
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781424421756
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Conference on Pattern Recognition
ISSN (Print)1051-4651


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