p97-herot - GRAPHICAL INPUT THROUGH MACHINE RECOGNITION OF...

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GRAPHICAL INPUT THROUGH MACHINE RECOGNITION OF SKETCHES Christopher F. Herot Architecture Machine Group, Department of Architecture Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts A family of programs has been developed to allow graphical input through continuous digitizing. Drawing data, sampled at a high and constant rate, is compressed and mapped into lines and splines, in two and three dimensions. This is achieved by inferring a particular user's intentions from measures of speed and pressure. Recent experiments have shown that even the most basic inference making cannot rely solely upon knowledge of the user's drawing style, but needs additional knowledge of the subject being drawn, the protocols of its domain, and the stage of development of the user's design. This requirement implies a higher level of machine intelligence than currently exists. An alternate approach is to increase the user's involvement in the recognition process. Contrary to previous efforts to move from sketch to mechanical drawing without human intervention, this paper reports on an interactive system for graphical input in which the user overtly partakes in training the machine and massaging the data at all levels of interpretation. The initial routines for data compression employ parallel functions for extracting such features as bentness, straightness, and endness. These are planned for implementation in microprocessors. Results offer a system for rapid (and enjoyable) graphical input with real-time interpretation, the beginnings of an intelligent tablet. 1. INTRODUCTION There are many areas of human endeavor which could benefit from the use of computer aids if there existed an effective means of communicating about these tasks with a machine. While the field of computer graphics arose to fill that need, it has too often added a new level of complexity. In computer-aided design, for instance, the process of "digitizing" is suffi- ciently cumbersome to delay its application until a relatively complete design has been produced by the human designer. The result is usually more akin to computer-aided evaluation or manipulation than to computer-aided design. The research described here is motivated by the desire to involve the computer in the early stages of the design process, where the feedback generated by the machine can be most useful. The medium chosen is free- hand sketching, as done with pencil and paper, as could be done at a data tablet. A machine is postulated to be looking on while the user is sketching. It could make inferences not only about the meaning of the sketch but also about the user's attitudes toward, and uncertainties about, his design. This approach offers its own unique set of problems and solutions, since the data available to the machine are at once plentiful and incomplete. While the ultimate implementation assumes a near-human intelligence on the part of the machine, far off in time, there are many interesting things to be learned along the way. Our previous experiments[1, 2, 3, 4] have been directed toward the
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p97-herot - GRAPHICAL INPUT THROUGH MACHINE RECOGNITION OF...

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