Efficient feature descriptor selection for improved Arabic handwritten words recognition

Soufiane Hamida, Oussama El Gannour, Bouchaib Cherradi, Hassan Ouajji, Abdelhadi Raihani


Arabic handwritten text recognition has long been a difficult subject, owing to the similarity of its characters and the wide range of writing styles. However, due to the intricacy of Arabic handwriting morphology, solving the challenge of cursive handwriting recognition remains difficult. In this paper, we propose a new efficient based image processing approach that combines three image descriptors for the feature extraction phase. To prepare the training and testing datasets, we applied a series of preprocessing techniques to 100 classes selected from the handwritten Arabic database of the Institut Für Nachrichtentechnik/Ecole Nationale d'Ingénieurs de Tunis (IFN/ENIT). Then, we trained the k-nearest neighbor’s algorithm (k-NN) algorithm to generate the best model for each feature extraction descriptor. The best k-NN model, according to common performance evaluation metrics, is used to classify Arabic handwritten images according to their classes. Based on the performance evaluation results of the three k-NN generated models, the majority-voting algorithm is used to combine the prediction results. A high recognition rate of up to 99.88% is achieved, far exceeding the state-of-the-art results using the IFN/ENIT dataset. The obtained results highlight the reliability of the proposed system for the recognition of handwritten Arabic words.


Arabic words; Feature selection; Handwritten; K-nearest neighbor’s; Machine learning; Majority voting

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DOI: http://doi.org/10.11591/ijece.v12i5.pp5304-5312

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International Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering (IJECE)
p-ISSN 2088-8708, e-ISSN 2722-2578

This journal is published by the Institute of Advanced Engineering and Science (IAES) in collaboration with Intelektual Pustaka Media Utama (IPMU).