Sub-project Informatics

Computer-based Analysis of Asian and African Manuscripts

Principal investigator: Prof Bernd Neumann, Ph.D.

Research associate: Dipl-Inf Rainer Herzog

Project Goals

The goal of this project is to develop computer methods for the analysis of historical manuscripts from Asian and African cultures with regard to features which make it possible to assign manuscripts to common origins or even common hands. The investigations are motivated by two concerns. The first one is to allow the reproduction and validation of results obtained by manual manuscript research and hence to contribute to manuscript analysis methods which are objectifiable and can be applied in larger breadth. The second concern is to exploit the large repertoire of image analysis, learning and data-mining methods in Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence for discovering new common features in handwritten characters. This may very well include features which have not yet been considered in manuscript research or which are difficult to perceive by human eyes. The selection of manuscripts and characters for this research as well as the evaluation of results will be carried out together with other partners of the research unit. The plan is to investigate Chinese manuscripts initially.

Current Work
  • Development of methods for layout analysis of manuscripts and for feature extraction of given chararacters
  • Development of a frame system with graphical user interface

R. Herzog: Analyse historischer chinesischer Manuskripte mit Hilfe des Shape Context Verfahrens (Analysis of historical chinese manuscripts based on Shape Context matching). Diploma thesis, Department of Informatics, University of Hamburg, 2007


B. Neumann: Manuskriptanalyse mit dem Computer (Manuscript Analysis by Computer). Talk on 13.11.2006 within the lecture series "Manuskriptkulturen (Manuscript Cultures)" at Hamburg University (slide copies)

A view into our laboratory