Effective Training of a Neural Network Character Classifier for Word Recognition

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 9 (NIPS 1996)

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Larry Yaeger, Richard Lyon, Brandyn Webb


We have combined an artificial neural network (ANN) character classifier with context-driven search over character segmentation, word segmentation, and word recognition hypotheses to provide robust recognition of hand-printed English text in new models of Apple Computer's Newton MessagePad. We present some innovations in the training and use of ANNs al; character classifiers for word recognition, including normalized output error, frequency balancing, error emphasis, negative training, and stroke warping. A recurring theme of reducing a priori biases emerges and is discussed.