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Handwritten Amharic Character Recognition Using a Convolutional Neural Network

by   Mesay Samuel Gondere, et al.
Universität Hildesheim
Arba Minch University

Amharic is the official language of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. There are lots of historic Amharic and Ethiopic handwritten documents addressing various relevant issues including governance, science, religious, social rules, cultures and art works which are very reach indigenous knowledge. The Amharic language has its own alphabet derived from Ge'ez which is currently the liturgical language in Ethiopia. Handwritten character recognition for non Latin scripts like Amharic is not addressed especially using the advantages of the state of the art techniques. This research work designs for the first time a model for Amharic handwritten character recognition using a convolutional neural network. The dataset was organized from collected sample handwritten documents and data augmentation was applied for machine learning. The model was further enhanced using multi-task learning from the relationships of the characters. Promising results are observed from the later model which can further be applied to word prediction.


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