- Keywords: Amharic, Handwritten, Character, Convolutional neural network, Recognition
- TL;DR: Recognition of handwritten Amharic characters based on convolutional neural network.
- Abstract: Amharic language is an official language of the federal government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Accordingly, there is a bulk of handwritten Amharic documents available in libraries, information centres, museums, and offices. Digitization of these documents enables to harness already available language technologies to local information needs and developments. Converting these documents will have a lot of advantages including (i) to preserve and transfer history of the country (ii) to save storage space (ii) proper handling of documents (iv) enhance retrieval of information through internet and other applications. Handwritten Amharic character recognition system becomes a challenging task due to inconsistency of a writer, variability in writing styles of different writers, relatively large number of characters of the script, high interclass similarity, structural complexity and degradation of documents due to different reasons. In order to recognize handwritten Amharic character a novel method based on deep neural networks is used which has recently shown exceptional performance in various pattern recognition and machine learning applications, but has not been endeavoured for Ethiopic script. The CNN model is trained and tested our database that contains 132,500 datasets of handwritten Amharic characters. Common machine learning methods usually apply a combination of feature extractor and trainable classifier. The use of CNN leads to significant improvements across different machine-learning classification algorithms. Our proposed CNN model is giving an accuracy of 91.83% on training data and 90.47% on validation data.