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Pen-Centric Shorthand Handwriting Recognition Interfaces Charles C. Tappert 1 and Jean R. Ward 2 1 School of CSIS, Pace University, New York, USA 2 Pen Computing Consultant, Massachusetts, USA Famous writings throughout history were effectively written in a style of shorthand

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pen centric shorthand handwriting recognition interfaces

Pen-Centric Shorthand Handwriting Recognition Interfaces

Charles C. Tappert1 and Jean R. Ward2

1 School of CSIS, Pace University, New York, USA

2 Pen Computing Consultant, Massachusetts, USA

background
Famous writings throughout history were effectively written in a style of shorthand

Cicero’s orations

Martin Luther’s sermons

Shakespeare’s and George Bernard Shaw’s plays

Background
thesis pen centric shorthand interfaces
Can provide critical infrastructure for natural pen-centric interactions, enhancing many pen-centric learning applications

Can provide faster text input for pen-centric teaching, studying, and learning applications

Will have greatest impact on the utility of applications running on small mobile devices

Thesis: Pen-Centric Shorthand Interfaces
agenda
Fundamental Property of Writing

Handwriting Recognition Difficulties

Online(Pen-Centric) Handwriting Recognition

Onlinemore accurate than Offline Recognition

Online Info Can Complicate Recognition Process

Design Tradeoffs/Decisions

Historical Shorthand Alphabets

Pen-Centric Shorthand Alphabets

Pen-Centric Word/Phrase Shorthand

Allegro/Chatroom Shorthand System

Agenda
fundamental property of writing
Differences between different characters are more significant than differences between different drawings of the same character

This makes handwritten communication possible

Fundamental Property of Writing
fundamental property of writing6
Fundamental Property of Writing
  • Property holds within subalphabets of uppercase, lowercase, and digits, but not across them
  • “I”, “l”, and “1” written with single vertical stroke
  • “O” and “0” written similarly with an oval
handwriting recognition difficulties
Shape, size, and slant variation

Similarly shaped characters – U and V

Careless writing

in the extreme, almost illegible writing

Resolving difficult ambiguities requires sophisticated recognition algorithms, syntax/semantics

Handwriting Recognition Difficulties
online pen centric handwriting recognition
Machine recognizes the writing while the user writes

Digitizer equipment captures the dynamic information of the writing

Stroke number,order,direction,speed

A stroke is the writing from pen down to pen up

Online(Pen-Centric) Handwriting Recognition
online pen centric more accurate than offline static recognition
Can use both dynamic and static information

Can often distinguish between similarly shaped characters

E.g., 5 versus S where the 5 is usually written with two strokes and the S with one stroke

Online(Pen-Centric) more accurate than Offline (Static) Recognition
online information can complicate recognition process
Online Information Can Complicate Recognition Process
  • Large number of possible variations
    • E can be written with one, two, three, or four strokes, and with various stroke orders and directions
    • Four-stroke E has 384 variations (4! stroke orders x 24 stroke directions)
online information can complicate recognition process11
Online Information Can Complicate Recognition Process
  • Segmentation ambiguities
    • character-within-character problem
    • lowercase d might be recognized as a cl if drawn with two strokes that are somewhat separated from one another
design tradeoffs decisions
No constraints on the user

Machine recognizes user's normal writing

User severely constrained

Must write in particular style such as handprint

Must write strokes in particular order, direction, and graphical specification

Design Tradeoffs/Decisions
simplified design tradeoffs decisions for graffiti and allegro pda alphabets
Small alphabet

one case rather than both upper and lowercase

Small number of writing variations per letter

preferably only one

One stroke per character (character = stroke)

allows machine to recognize each character upon pen lift

Separate writing areas for letters and digits

avoids confusion of similarly shaped letters and digits

Simplified Design Tradeoffs/Decisions for Graffiti and Allegro PDA Alphabets
historical shorthand alphabets
We first review the history of shorthand systems prior to pen computing

Shorthand is “a method of writing rapidly by substituting characters, abbreviations, or symbols for letters, words, or phrases”

Shorthand can be traced back to the Greeks

Historical Shorthand Alphabets
historical shorthand alphabets15
We focus on shorthand alphabets that might be appropriate for PDAs

We review two types of shorthand

Geometric shorthand

Small number of basic shapes

Shapes reused in multiple orientations

Non-geometric shorthand

Historical Shorthand Alphabets
stenographie alphabet 160218
Stenographie Alphabet, 1602

Geometric shorthand – basic shapes/orientations

moon alphabet 1894
Moon Alphabet, 1894
  • Geometric shorthand – basic shapes/orientations
other historical shorthand systems
Phonetic alphabets

Pitman (1837)

Gregg (1885)

Systems for the blind

Braille (1824)

Cursive shorthands

Gabelsberger (1834)

Other Historical Shorthand Systems
pen centric shorthand alphabets
Some of the earliest were for CAD/CAM

symbols represent graphical items and commands

Others developed for text input on small consumer devices like PDAs that have limited computing power

We review geometric and non-geometric shorthands appropriate for small devices

Pen-Centric Shorthand Alphabets
pen centric shorthand alphabets22
Historical alphabets presented above could be used for machine recognition

symbols drawn with a single stroke (except K in Tironian and + in Stenographie)

In addition to shape and orientation, online systems can use stroke direction to differentiate among symbols

Pen-Centric Shorthand Alphabets
graffiti and allegro alphabets
Graffiti and Allegro Alphabets
  • Not geometric alphabets
  • High correspondence to Roman alphabet
  • Might not qualify as shorthand but included here
commercially successful shorthands
Commercially Successful Shorthands
  • Similar to the Roman alphabet
    • Easier to learn
    • Graffiti used in Palm OS devices
      • notably the Palm Pilot and Handspring models
    • Allegro used in Microsoft Windows devices
  • Geometric alphabets not successful
pen centric word phrase shorthand e g chatroom shorthand
Pen-Centric Word/Phrase Shorthande.g., Chatroom Shorthand
  • Further increase speed of text entry
  • Potential applications
    • Where input speed important
    • Where word/phrase abbreviations occur frequently – e.g., email
allegro chatroom shorthand system
Allegro/Chatroom Shorthand System
  • Developed for M.S. dissertation
    • Student was hearing impaired
    • Developed as output component of communication system
      • Handwriting to text to speech
  • Two input writing areas
    • One for Allegro (all-purpose)
    • One for chatroom-like words/phrases
conclusions
Pen-centric learning interfaces should use shorthand, and word/phrase shorthand where appropriate, for fast text input

Benefit of shorthand interfaces

Provides critical infrastructure for many pen-centric learning applications

Enhances natural pen-centric interactions for teaching, studying, and learning applications

Has greatest impact on the utility of applications running on small mobile devices

Conclusions