gi99-hbee - Proceedings of Graphics Interface 99 Kingston...

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Proceedings of Graphics Interface ‘99, Kingston, Ontario, June 1999, pp. 84–91. A Handwriting-Based Equation Editor Steve Smithies Department of Computer Science University of Otago Dunedin, New Zealand [email protected] Kevin Novins Department of Computer Science University of Otago Dunedin, New Zealand [email protected] James Arvo Department of Computer Science California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA 91125, USA [email protected] Abstract Current equation editing systems rely on either text- based equation description languages or on interactive construction by means of structure templates and menus. These systems are often tedious to use, even for experts, because the user is forced to “parse” the expressions men- tally before they are entered. This step is not normally part of the process of writing equations on paper or on a whiteboard. We describe a prototype equation editor that is based on handwriting recognition and automatic equa- tion parsing. It is coupled with a user interface that incor- porates a set of simple procedures for correcting errors made by the automatic interpretation. Although some correction by the user is typically necessary before the formula is recognized, we have found that the system is simpler and more natural to use than systems based on specialized languages or template-based interaction. Key words: equation editing, equation parsing, handwrit- ing recognition, human-computer interaction, pen-based computing, pen-based input 1 Introduction We describe a prototype equation editor that allows a user to enter handwritten mathematical formulae using a pen and tablet. The system uses on-line character recogni- tion software and a graph grammar to generate an internal parse tree of the input, which can then be converted into output representations such as L A T E X, Mathematica, or a LISP-like notation. On-line character recognition and handwritten formula parsing are notoriously difficult problems. Resolving am- biguities in the input often requires the use of high-level context [16]. Even humans will make occasional errors interpreting handwritten equations. For this reason, an essential part of any handwriting-based equation editor is a facility for easy correction of input that has been incor- rectly interpreted. Our system is currently based on relatively simple recognition and parsing modules. While these modules frequently cause handwritten user input to be misinter- preted, the resulting formula entry system nevertheless quite natural and easy to use. Users of the system have found it preferable to conventional equation editors, de- spite the need to periodically correct recognition and in- terpretation failures. 2
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This note was uploaded on 06/12/2011 for the course CAP 6105 taught by Professor Lavoila during the Spring '09 term at University of Central Florida.

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gi99-hbee - Proceedings of Graphics Interface 99 Kingston...

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