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Real-Time Vision-based Korean Finger Spelling Recognition System

Authors: Anjin Park, Sungju Yun, Jungwhan Kim, Seungk Min, Keechul Jung


Finger spelling is an art of communicating by signs made with fingers, and has been introduced into sign language to serve as a bridge between the sign language and the verbal language. Previous approaches to finger spelling recognition are classified into two categories: glove-based and vision-based approaches. The glove-based approach is simpler and more accurate recognizing work of hand posture than vision-based, yet the interfaces require the user to wear a cumbersome and carry a load of cables that connected the device to a computer. In contrast, the vision-based approaches provide an attractive alternative to the cumbersome interface, and promise more natural and unobtrusive human-computer interaction. The vision-based approaches generally consist of two steps: hand extraction and recognition, and two steps are processed independently. This paper proposes real-time vision-based Korean finger spelling recognition system by integrating hand extraction into recognition. First, we tentatively detect a hand region using CAMShift algorithm. Then fill factor and aspect ratio estimated by width and height estimated by CAMShift are used to choose candidate from database, which can reduce the number of matching in recognition step. To recognize the finger spelling, we use DTW(dynamic time warping) based on modified chain codes, to be robust to scale and orientation variations. In this procedure, since accurate hand regions, without holes and noises, should be extracted to improve the precision, we use graph cuts algorithm that globally minimize the energy function elegantly expressed by Markov random fields (MRFs). In the experiments, the computational times are less than 130ms, and the times are not related to the number of templates of finger spellings in database, as candidate templates are selected in extraction step.

Keywords: CAMShift, DTW, Graph Cuts, MRF.

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