Online signature verification by combining shape contexts and local features

B. Li, Dapeng Zhang, K. Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Most parameter-based online signature verification methods achieve correspondence between the points of two signatures by minimizing the accumulation of their local feature distances. The matching based on minimizing the local feature distances alone is not adequate since the point contains not only local features but the distribution of the remaining points relative to it. One useful way to get correspondences between points on two shapes and measure the similarity of the two shapes is to use the shape context, since this descriptor can be used to describe the distributive relationship between a reference point and the remaining points on a shape. In this paper, we introduce a shape context descriptor for describing an online signature point which contains both 2D spatial information and a time stamp. A common algorithm, dynamic time warp (DTW), is used for the elastic matching between two signatures. When combining shape contexts and local features, we achieve better results than when using only the local features. We evaluate the proposed method on a signature database from the First International Signature Verification Competition (SVC2004). Experimental results demonstrate that the shape context is a good feature and has available complementarity for describing the signature point. The best result by combining the shape contexts and the local features yields an Equal Error Rate (EER) of 6.77% for five references.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-420
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Image and Graphics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Signature verification
  • Shape context
  • Local feature
  • Combination
  • DTW

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