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Score Normalization for HMM-basedWord Spotting Using a Universal Background Model

José A. Rodriguez, Florent Perronnin
Handwritten word spotting (HWS) is traditionally performed as an image matching task between one or multiple query images and a set of word images in a document. In this article, we address the word spotting problem as a hidden Markov model (HMM) word verification problem and demonstrate the importance of score normalization for improving detection performance. Our main contribution is the introduction of a novel score normalization technique in which the conventional HMM filler model is simplified by using a Gaussian mixture model (GMM). The accuracy of the proposed score normalization is on par with the traditional HMM-based score normalization approaches but it has a lower computational cost. We also identify an interesting special case, the semi-continuous HMM, where the proposed score normalization formalism fits very elegantly and comes at a negligible cost.
ICFHR 2008 (International Conference on Frontiers in Handwriting Recognition), Montreal, Canada, 19-21 August 2008
2008
2008/009