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........ published in NEWSLETTER # 52

by Professor S. Impedovo, University, Bari (Italy) and Professor J.C. Simon, University, Paris (France)

For many years researchers in the field of Handwriting Recognition were considered to be working in an area of minor importance in Pattern Recognition. They could only present the results of their research at general conferences such as the ICPR or publish their papers in journals such as those in the IEEE or PR series, together with many other papers generally oriented towards the more promising areas of Pattern Recognition. The series of International Workshops on Frontiers in Handwriting Recognition and International Conferences on Document Analysis and Recognition together with some special issues of several journals are now fulfilling the expectations of many researchers who have been attracted to this area and are involving many academic institutions and industrial companies. But in order to facilitate the introduction of young researchers into the field and to give them both theoretically and practically powerful tools, some high level teaching schools in handwriting recognition needed to be held.

Therefore the NATO Advanced Study Institute on `Fundamentals in Handwriting Recognition' was organized that had its origin in many exchanges among specialists in the field, during the International Workshops on Frontiers in Handwriting Recognition.

This NATO Advanced Study Institute on `Fundamentals in Handwriting Recognition' took place from June 21st to July 3rd 1993, at Chateau de Bonas, a magnificent site near Toulouse (France), which offered the most comfortable environment for study and friendly discussion, essential for the success of this NATO ASI. The aim of the Institute was to focus on the fundamental tools and ideas that are generally used in the field of handwriting recognition.

The most important algorithms for data acquisition, preprocessing feature extraction, classification, the most common data base, and devices for on_ line and off_line recognition were presented. The role of parallel machines and special networks in solving problems in the field were also discussed.

There were 78 participants (18 lecturers and 60 students) from 15 different countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Portugal, Russia, The Netherlands, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

The lectures are included in this book (NATO ASI SERIES F124) which consists of nine parts, each one including one or more of the main lectures. A few papers presented by participants reporting interesting results or original comments on the subject have also been included.
Reference books: F30, F41, F45, F124

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