Letter-level Online Writer Identification

6 Dec 2021  ·  Zelin Chen, Hong-Xing Yu, AnCong Wu, Wei-Shi Zheng ·

Writer identification (writer-id), an important field in biometrics, aims to identify a writer by their handwriting. Identification in existing writer-id studies requires a complete document or text, limiting the scalability and flexibility of writer-id in realistic applications. To make the application of writer-id more practical (e.g., on mobile devices), we focus on a novel problem, letter-level online writer-id, which requires only a few trajectories of written letters as identification cues. Unlike text-\ document-based writer-id which has rich context for identification, there are much fewer clues to recognize an author from only a few single letters. A main challenge is that a person often writes a letter in different styles from time to time. We refer to this problem as the variance of online writing styles (Var-O-Styles). We address the Var-O-Styles in a capture-normalize-aggregate fashion: Firstly, we extract different features of a letter trajectory by a carefully designed multi-branch encoder, in an attempt to capture different online writing styles. Then we convert all these style features to a reference style feature domain by a novel normalization layer. Finally, we aggregate the normalized features by a hierarchical attention pooling (HAP), which fuses all the input letters with multiple writing styles into a compact feature vector. In addition, we also contribute a large-scale LEtter-level online wRiter IDentification dataset (LERID) for evaluation. Extensive comparative experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed framework.

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