# Signature verification using Kolmogorov-Smirnov. statistic

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1 Signature verification using Kolmogorov-Smirnov statistic Harish Srinivasan, Sargur N.Srihari and Matthew J Beal University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, Buffalo USA January 9, 2005 Abstract Automatic signature verification of scanned documents are presented here. The strategy used for verification is applicable in scenarios where there are multiple knowns(genuine signature samples) from a writer. First the learning process invovles learning the variation and similarities from the known genuine samples from the given writer and then classification problem answers the question whether or not a given questioned sample belongs to the ensemble of known samples or not. The learning strategy discussed, compares pairs of signature samples from amongst the knwon samples, to obtain a distribution in distance space, that represents the distribution of the variation amongst samples, for that particular writer. The corresponding classification method involves comparing the questioned sample, with all the available knowns, to obtain another distribution in distance space. The classification task is now to compare the two distributions to obtain a probability of similarity of the two distributions, that represents, the probability of the questioned sample belonging to the ensemble of the knowns. The above strategies are applied to the problem of signature verification and performance results are presented.

2 1 Introduction Automatic signature verification can be performed using machine learning. Signature verification involves scenarios when there are multiple known genuine samples from a writer, such as from bank cheques. The verification process now is the task of answering the qeustion of whether a given questioned signature sample belongs to the ensemble of knowns. In simple terms, the question is whether or not the given questioned signature sample is genuine or forgery. In machine learning, such scenarios where counter examples are not available for learning, can be ternmed as, one class classification problems. For example in signature verification problems, only genuine samples from a given writer is available for learning and often no samples of forgeries are available. When there are multiple known samples for a writer, it is more intuitive to use all of that information to learn the style of writing of that person and to then classify a given questioned handwriting sample as belonging to the writer or not. The learning approach that involve the above scenario can be termed as writer dependent or density estimation learning approach. The strategy for learning in such a scenario and its application to signature verification problem and the performance results will be the main focus of this paper. Automatic verification of signatures from scanned paper documents have many applications such as authentication of bank checks, questioned document examination, biometrics, etc. Online, or dynamic, signature verification systems have been reported with high success rates [11]. However, off-line, or static research is relatively unexplored which difference can be attributed to the lack of temporal information, the range of intra-personal variation in the scanned image, etc. Other methods for signature verification involving writer dependent and writer independent strategies have been discussed in [10, 14, 9, 15]. 2

3 2 Learning strategy Figure 1: Signature verification with multiple knowns Given N samples from a class, the problem of learning described in this paper, is that of learning both the similarity between samples and also the variations amongs them. Since there are no counter examples for the class, typically this problem can be treated as a density estimation problem. The idea can be best seen in the signature verification problem. The N samples from a class corresponds to the collection of genuine signature samples from a known writer. The learning phase involves two steps. (i) Feature extraction and (ii) Obtaining Within class distance distribution. The first of the two steps is a standard one, that maps the signature images to feature space. These features now represent the signature. After this step, a typical density estimation problem is to find an appropriate probability density function that will fit the signature samples in feature space. This probability density function can then later be used to calculate how probable a given questioned signature sample is, to belong to the ensemble of knowns. The strategy discussed in this paper is slightly different than the typical density estimation problem. Instead of finding the distributions that models the signature samples in feature space, a distance measure discussed in section is used to compute a score between every pair of samples. This transforms the representation of the individual signature samples in feature space, to pairs of samples in distance space. The method is described in section 2.2 3

4 2.1 Feature extraction Features for a given set of samples of a particular class can be termed as set of elements that help uniquely label the samples as belonging to that class. These elements may be termed as discriminating elements (DE s) when two samples are compared. A given class can have a number of DE s and the combination of the DE s have greater power in uniquely identifying the class. The following section describes the features for signatures Features for signature verification Features for static signature verification can be one of three types [5, 13]: (i) global: extracted from every pixel that lie within a rectangle circumscribing the signature, including image gradient analysis [12], series expansions [4], etc., (ii) statistical: derived from the distribution of pixels of a signature, e.g., statistics of high gray level pixels to identify pseudo dynamic characteristics [8], (iii) geometrical and topological: e.g., local correspondence of stroke segments to trace signatures [7], feature tracks and stroke positions [5], etc. A combination of all three types of features were used in a writer independent (WI) signature verification system [9] which were previously used in character recognition [6], word recognition [3] and writer identification [14]. These features, known as gradient, structural and concavity (or GSC) features were used here. The average size of all reference signature images was chosen as the reference size to which all signatures were resized. The image is divided into a 4x8 grid from which a 1024-bit GSC feature vector is determined. 2. Gradient(G) features measure the magnitude of change in a 3x3 neighborhood of each pixel. For each grid cell, by counting statistics of 12 gradients, there are 4x8x12 = 384 gradient features. Structural (S) features capture certain patterns, i.e., mini-strokes, embedded in the gradient map. A set of 12 rules is applied to each pixel to capture lines, diagonal rising and corners yielding 384 structural features. Concavity (C) features, which capture global and topological features, e.g., bays and holes, are 4x8x8 = 256 in number. 4

5 (a) (b) Figure 2: Feature computation: (a) variable size grid, and (b) binary feature vector Distance measures A method of measuring the similarity or distance between two binary vectors in feature space is essential for classification. The correlation distance performed best for GSC binary features [2] which is defined for two binary vectors X and Y, as follows: d(x, Y )= 1 2 s 11 s 00 s 10 s 01 2((s 10 + s 11 )(s 01 + s 00 )(s 11 + s 01 )(s 00 + s 10 )) 1 2 (1) where s ij represent the number of corresponding bits of X and Y that have values i and j. 2.2 Within class distance distribution If a given class has N samples, ( ) N 2 defined as N! pairs of samples can be compared as N! (N r)! shown in figure 3. In each comparison, the distance between the features is computed. This calculation maps feature space to distance space. The result of all ( ) ( N 2 comparisons is a { N 2 x 1} distance vector. This vector is the distribution in distance space for a given class. Thus for signature verification, this vector is the distribution in distance space for the ensemble of ) genuine known signatures for that writer. An advantage in mapping from feature space to distance space is that, the number of data points in the distribution is ( ) N 2 as compared to N for a distribution in feature space alone. Also the calculation of the distance between every pair of samples, gives a measure of the variation in handwriting for that writer. In essence the distribution in distance space for a given known writer, captures the similarities and variation amongst the signature samples for that writer. Let N the total number of samples and N WD = ( N ) 2 be the total number of comparisons that can be made which also equals the length of the 5

6 Figure 3: Samples from one class ( 4 2) =6Comparisons within class distribution vector. The within class distribution can be written as D w =(d 0,d 1,d 2,...d NWD ) T (2) where T denotes the transpose operation and d j is the distance between the pair of samples taken at j th comparison, j {1..N WD }. Such a distribution amongst signature samples for a given writer can also be termed as Genuine signature distribution. 3 Classification The one class classification tasks answers the question whether or not a given questioned sample belongs to the ensemble of known samples. For the learning strategy described in section 2, the corresponding classification tasks involves two steps. (i) Obtaining Questioned Vs Known Distribution and (ii) Comparison of Questioned Vs Known Distribution and Within Class Distribution. 3.1 Questioned Vs Known Distribution In section 2.2 and with equation 2, within class distance distribution is obtained by comparing every pair of sample from within the given class. Analogous to it, the questioned sample can be compared with every one of the known N samples in a similar way to obtain the Questioned Vs 6

7 Known Distribution. The Questioned Vs Known Distribution is given by D QK =(d 0,d 1,d 2,...d N ) T (3) where d j is the distance between the questioned sample and the j th known sample, j {1..N}. Given a questioned signature, features are extracted for the it and is compared with every genuine signature for that writer to obtain the Questioned Vs Known distribution. 3.2 Comparing Distributions Once the two distribution namely Within class distribution, D w described in section 2.2 using equation 2, Questioned Vs known distribution D QK described in section, 3.1 using equation 3 are obtained, the task now is to compare the two distributions to obtain a probability of similarity. The intuition behind doing is that, if the questioned sample did belong to the ensemble of the knowns, then the two distributions must be the same. There are various ways of comparing two distributions of which Kolmogorov-Smirnov Test is described in the following section Kolmogorov-Smirnov Test The Kolmogorov-Smirnov Test can be applied to obtain a probability of similarity between two distributions. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov (or KS) test is applicable to unbinned distributions that are functions of a single independent variable, that is, to data sets where each data point can be associated with a single number [1]. The idea behind this test is first to obtain the cumulative distribution function of the two distributions that need to be compared. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov D is a particularly simple measure: It is defined as the maximum value of the absolute difference between two cumulative distribution functions. For comparing two different cumulative distribution functions S N1 (x) and S N2 (x), the KS statistic D is given by 7

8 equation 4. D = max S N1(x) S N2 (x) (4) <x< The statistic D can then be mapped on to a probability of similarity between the two distributions by the function that calculates the significance as follows [1]. Q KS (λ) =2 ( 1) j 1 e 2j2 λ 2 (5) j=1 Q KS (0) = 1,Q KS ( ) =0 (6) The probability of similarity is given by P = Q KS ([ (N e ) Ne D]) (7) where N e is the effective number of data points, N e = N 1N 2 N 1 + N 2 (8) where N 1 is the number of data points in the first distribution and N 2 the number in the second. 4 Implementation and Results 4.1 Test-Bed A database of off-line signatures was prepared as a test bed. Each of 55 individuals contributed 24 signatures thereby creating 1320 genuine signatures. Some were asked to forge three other writers signatures, eight times per subject, thus creating 1320 forgeries. One example of each of 55 genuines are shown in Figure 4. Ten examples of genuines of one subject (subject no. 21) and ten forgeries of that subject are shown in Figure 5. Each signature was scanned at 300 8

9 dpi gray-scale and binarized using a gray-scale histogram. Salt pepper noise removal and slant normalization were two steps involved in image preprocessing. Figure 4: Genuine signature samples. Figure 5: Samples for one writer: (a) genuines and (b) forgeries. 9

10 4.2 Results on signature verification The signature verification technique discussed in this paper results in a probability of similarity as the final answer that is a measure of how probable the given questioned sample belongs to the ensemble of knowns. In simple terms, it is the probability of the questioned signature sample to be genuine. The test cases with probability > 50% can be claimed as genuine and those below claimed as forgery. However, to allow for inconclusiveness, probabilities inbetween 40% and 60% can be regarded as inconclusive. There are two possible errors/accuracies that can be measured, one when the sample is declared as forgery when truly it is genuine (type 1) and, two when the sample is declared as genuine when truly it is forgery. Table 1 lists the accuracy percentages averaged over 30 test cases involving 30 different writers. The database had 24 genuines and 24 forgeries available for each writer as in figure 5. For each test case a writer was chosen and N genuine samples of that writers signature were used for learning. The remaining 24 N genuine samples were used for testing. Also 24 forged signatures of this writer were used for testing. The table also shows the accuracy percentages when the probability values between 40% and 50% were termed as inconclusive or reject cases. From table 1, certain trends can be observed. When more samples are used for learning, Without reject With reject No: of knowns Type 1(%) Type 2(%) Overall(%) Type 1(%) Type 2(%) Overall(%) Table 1: Accuracy rates for signature verification variations of signatures are learnt better and hence the type 1 accuracy increases. However, since the learnt distribution accomadates for more variations in the signature, type 2 accuracy slightly decreases. Table 2 shows the percentage of test cases, whose probabilties(strength of evidence), were greater than x%. For example the way to read column > 80% of row 1 will be, in 72.65% of the test cases, the probability(strength of evidence) for the correct decision was > 80%. 10

11 5 Conclusions No: of knowns > 90% > 80% > 70% > 60% > 50% Table 2: Strength of evidence for signature verification An automatic signature verification method for scanned documents was discussed. With the test cases discussed it can be seen that with only 4 genuine samples available for learning, approximately 84% accuracy can be obtained for signature verification. This accuracy can be increased approximately to 89% when more genuine known samples are available. There are many possible methods to compare the distributions to obtain a probability of similarity of which only Kolmorogorv-Smirnov was discussed. Another useful such method is the KL divergence. This was also implemented and but is not discussed in this paper. The performance results using KL divergence is comparable to those discussed in this paper. Acknowledgement The authors wish to thank Chen Huang, Vivek Shah, and Pavitra Babu for their assistance. References [1] Numerical Recipes in C: The art of scientific computation. Cambridge University Press, [2] B.Zhang and S.N.Srihari. Binary vector dissimularity measures for handwriting identification. Proceedings of the SPIE, Document Recognition and Retrieval. [3] B.Zhang and S.N.Srihari. Analysis of handwriting individuality using handwritten words. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Document Analysis and Pattern Recognition, [4] C.C.Lin and R.Chellappa. Classification of partial 2-d shapes using fourier descriptors. IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Learning Intelligence, pages , [5] Y. K. P. Fang, C.H.Leung and Y.K.Wong. Off-line signature verification by the tracking of feature and stroke positions. Pattern recognition, 36:

12 [6] S. G.Srikantan and S.Srihari. Gradient based contour encoding for character recognition. Pattern Recognition, 7: , [7] D. J.K.Guo and A.Rosenfield. Local correspondences for detecting random forgeries. Proceedings of theinternational Conference on Document Analysis and Pattern Recognition, pages , [8] Y. M.Ammar and T.Fukumura. A new effective approach of off-line verification of signatures by using pressure features. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Pattern Recognition. [9] B. M.K.Kalera and S.N.Sriahri. Off-line signature verification and identification using distance statistics. Proceedings of the International Graphonomics society Conference, page 228. [10] R.Plamondon and G.Lorette. On-line and offline handwriting recognition: A comprehensive survey. IEEE Transactions on Pattern REcognition and Machine Intelligence, 22(1):63 84, [11] R.Plamondon and S.N.Srihari. On-line and offline handwriting recognition: A comprehensive survey. IEEE Transactions on Pattern REcognition and Machine Intelligence, 22(1): [12] R.Sabourin and R.Plamondon. Preprocessing of handwritten signatures from image gradient analysis. Proceedings of the 8th international conference on Pattern Recognition, pages , [13] S.Lee and J.C.Pan. Off-line tracking and representation of signatures. IEEE Transactions on Systems,Man and Cybernetics, 22: , [14] H. S.N.Srihari, S.Cha and S.Lee. Individuality of handwriting. Journal Of Forensic Sciences, pages , [15] M. S.N.Srihari, A.Xu. Learning strategies and classification methods for off-line signature verification. Proceedings of the 7th International Workshop on Frontiers in handwriting recognition(iwhr). 12

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