Online and offline handwritten Chinese character recognition: Benchmarking on new databases

Cheng Lin Liu*, Fei Yin, Da Han Wang, Qiu Feng Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

255 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, the Institute of Automation of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CASIA) released the unconstrained online and offline Chinese handwriting databases CASIA-OLHWDB and CASIA-HWDB, which contain isolated character samples and handwritten texts produced by 1020 writers. This paper presents our benchmarking results using state-of-the-art methods on the isolated character datasets OLHWDB1.0 and HWDB1.0 (called DB1.0 in general), OLHWDB1.1 and HWDB1.1 (called DB1.1 in general). The DB1.1 covers 3755 Chinese character classes as in the level-1 set of GB2312-80. The evaluated methods include 1D and pseudo 2D normalization methods, gradient direction feature extraction from binary images and from gray-scale images, online stroke direction feature extraction from pen-down trajectory and from pen lifts, classification using the modified quadratic discriminant function (MQDF), discriminative feature extraction (DFE), and discriminative learning quadratic discriminant function (DLQDF). Our experiments reported the highest test accuracies 89.55% and 93.22% on the HWDB1.1 (offline) and OLHWDB1.1 (online), respectively, when using the MQDF classifier trained with DB1.1. When training with both the DB1.0 and DB1.1, the test accuracies on HWDB1.1 and OLHWDB are improved to 90.71% and 93.95%, respectively. Using DFE and DLQDF, the best results on HWDB1.1 and OLHWDB1.1 are 92.08% and 94.85%, respectively. Our results are comparable to the best results of the ICDAR2011 Chinese Handwriting Recognition Competition though we used less training samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-162
Number of pages8
JournalPattern Recognition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Benchmarking
  • Databases
  • Handwritten Chinese character recognition
  • Offline
  • Online

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