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Vol. 6, No.

1, April 2003

FORENSIC DO CUME NT EXAMINATION/Handwriting Movements: 30-06-02-08/0304

Aspects of physical kinematics of fingers on the wrist pivot in drawing line segments.
by K. Kobayashi2
REFERENCES: Kobayashi, K., “Finger and Wrist Coordination METHOD
During Handwriting Movements” The International Journal of Forensic
Document Examiners, Vol. 6, No. 1, April 2003, pp. 1-6. SUBJECT

ABSTRACT: Behavior of fingers and wrist in handwriting is complex. One Japanese man (age 32) without disorder of his arm attended
Computational models of handwriting kinematics support the basis of the at the experimentation.
handwriting examination, because some aspects of handwriting simulates
by means of the models. In short words writing, for example writing a MATERIAL AND APPARATUS
signature on check, forearm movements do not play a roll of handwriting.
So, our approach is static posture investigation during segments like To measure behavior of pen stylus, fingers and wrist, we used a
drawing without forearm movements. The start and end points of the CyberGlove™(Immersion,USA) and a tablet digitizer(WACOM Intuos
segments are located on the lattice; therefore the averages on the lattice I-900, JAPAN). This system is shown in Fig.2, and measuring points
points represent the map of the effectors aspects. The pivot of the wrist are described in Fig.3. The CyberGlove is a human interface device for
rotation is close to the root of thumb. The result of the map indicates a the Virtual Reality that has 22 sensors for measuring angle of fingers
relationship of the polar coordinates system at the pivot. and wrist joints. Angles of thumb finger, index finger and wrist joint
were recorded to file in 60Hz. Behavior of a pen stylus in handwriting
KEYWORDS: Handwriting, finger, physical kinematics. was captured by means of the tablet digitizer with our developed
software[5]. To use a ballpoint pen type stylus (Wacom GP-110), an
INTRODUCTION operator can writes handwriting on a sheet of paper covered with the
tablet. The paper ruled into 5mm squares. The frequency of the tablet
Computational handwriting models will be necessary in order to sampling was 100Hz. Furthermore the scene of the experiment was
analyze the handwriting process precisely. The models give some recorded by a DV camera (Sony DCR-PC110, JAPAN) hang over the
functional properties of graphic workspace [1]. It could be applied to real tablet.
caseworks to support the basis of handwriting examination. The purpose
of this study is investigation into properties of effectors system in a field PROCEDURE
of a short autograph without forearm movements. Besides Latin characters,
Japanese characters are based on short segment lines. In a baseline area of The sequence of the experimental handwriting is shown in Fig. 4.
an actual signature or a mention of an address, movements of the forearm Drawing arcs in the Seq.0 without finger movements were used for
does not accompany with movements of fingers and wrist. However, all calculating the pivot of the wrist rotation. In the Seq.1 to Seq.4, each
most of these handwriting models are applications of simple fluent cursive of short segment line was drawn followed the sequence. The length of
scripts, which follow forearm movements. the line was about 10mm(Seq.1, 2), and about 14mm (Seq. 3,4). There
In handwriting, an important class of models views handwriting as was no break and no fixed tool of the wrist during the experiment.
resulting from the activity of two functional components: a horizontal Total of experiment time was about 300s. The mean time of drawing
component moving the pen tip right and leftward, and a vertical a segment line was 0.54s. The amount of the segment line was 239
component moving the pen tip up and down. Hollabach[2] proposed that (Seq.1: 64, Seq.2: 63, Seq.3: 56, Seq.4: 56).
handwriting is the result of two orthogonally operating oscillations; one
is the vertical direction, the other in the horizontal direction. Additionally, DATA ANALYSIS
a third, independent, component is assumed to be responsible for the
rightward progression. Lelivelt [3] consider the Hollabach’s model to At first, each of the device output was compensated by linear
adopt anatomical and geometrical characteristics of the human effectors interpolation to synchronize time scale. The data analysis tool was the
system (See Fig.1). For vertical component, flexion and extension of the MATLAB (MathWorks, USA). The pivot (cx,cy) from the Seq.0 was
index finger lead to the pen-tip displacements. For horizontal component, calculated by the least square method of a circle expression. Next,
flexion and extension of the wrist operate the horizontal oscillation in the positions of the pen tip in the Cartesian (X(t), Y(t)) coordinates were
range of wrist movements. Then, evidence suggests that forearm pronation translated to the polar coordinates (Radius(t), Phase(t)) at the wrist
and supination do not play a critical role in pen-tip displacement, but may pivot. The translation expression is below.
have a stabilizing role [4].
We suggest a new method of fingers posture mapping. Then, we show
an examination result by using it.
Presented at the 60th Annual Conference of the American Society of
Questioned Document Examiners, San Diego, USA, August 14-18, 2002
Questioned Document Section, National Research Institute of Police
Science, 6-3-1 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba, 277-0882, JAPAN

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The International Journal of Forensic Document Examiners

Figure 1: Cartesian coordinates vs. polar coordinates of handwriting model.

Figure 2: Data acquisition system for handwriting movement.

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Vol. 6, No.1, April 2003

Figure 3: Measurement points.

Figure 4: Sequences of the line segments. Bound box represents the same location.

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The International Journal of Forensic Document Examiners

Sampling points of the sequence data were pen-tip down and up pivot. Especially, the pivot location obtained by means of our method
triggers to estimate the static posture of fingers and wrist. Static posture does not correspond with the location of the wrist joint. Fingers posture
of each effector was calculated an average at the same lattice point. So, of holding the pen stylus is a diamond shape with thumb and index
these averages on the lattice points related to the physical drawing field. finger. So, the control of the stylus is based on the root of the thumb.
Then, the values of the averages were normalized and mapped to the Then, the map of index PIJ is similar to the radius map. In the Lelivelt’s
drawing area. These maps represent distributions of joint angles and pen model, the most contribution of the handwriting action is the index
directions. The basis maps of the coordinates system are x, y, radius, finger’s action. So, the experimental results show the correspondence
phase. The maps of x, y are vertical and horizontal gradation. The map to the simulation model. The results of the palm do not indicate relation
of radius is a concentric circle at the center of the wrist pivot. The map of the basis maps. Because of the wrist joint has two or more freedoms
of phase is radiation at it. Therefore, it is available to compare between of movements, decomposition of the maps does not match the physical
the basic maps and the results maps of the effectors system. movements.
We did not analyze the dynamic posture of handwriting. In the
RESULTS actual signature writing, speeds of the movements of effectors are much
faster than this experimental writings. It seems to the change of the
Fig.5 shows the result of the pivot calculated from the Seq.0. The finger’s kinematics. Therefore, we have a plan to investigate the
center figure is displayed overlapped from the video frame. The right dynamic posture of handwriting.
figure shows the translation results of the pen-tip positions from the
Cartesian coordinates to the polar coordinates. The pivot of the wrist REFERENCES
does not fit the position of real physical wrist joint. The pivot is close
to the root of the thumb. Fig.6 shows the sweep of the pen-tip [1]. Joost J. Schillings, Ruud G. J. Meulenbroek, Arnold J. W. M.
movements by the Cartesian (X, Y) and the polar (Radius, Phase) on Thomassen, “Functional properties of graphic workspace:
sampling period (the vertical scale of each value was adjusted for the assessment by means of a 3D geometric arm model”, Acta
comparison). Psychologica, Vol. 100, 1998, pp. 97 – 115.
Results maps of static postures of pen, fingers, wrist and the basis
maps are shown in Fig.7. The gradation maps of the other effectors are [2]. Hollerbach, J. M., “An oscillation theory of handwriting”,
similar tendency to the basis maps. Biological Cybernetics, Vol. 39, 1981, pp. 139 – 156.
The map of altitude represents inclinations of stylus. When the pen-
tip was close to the wrist, the stylus was stand up. The map of index PIJ [3]. Lelivelt, B. M., Meulenbroek, G. J. and Thomassen, W. M.,
represents the result of the second joint of index finger. The result is “Mapping Abstract Main Axes in Handwriting to Hand and Finger
much similar to the basis map of radius. The maps of palm pitch and Joints”, Handwriting and drawing research: basic and applies
palm yaw are obscure. issues, IOS Press, Amsterdam, 1996, pp.29 – 40.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION [4]. Meulenbroek, G. J., Thomassen, W. M., et al, “The stablility of
pen-joint interjoint coordination in loop writing”, Acta
Some maps fit to the basis map of radius, it shows the basic Psychologica, Vol. 100, 1998, pp. 55 – 70.
mechanism of handwriting relates to the polar coordinates system on the
[5]. Kobayashi K., et al, “3D Visualization of Handwriting by using
VRML”, Proceedings of the 56th Annual Conference of ASQDE,
Indianapolis, Aug., 1998.

Figure 5: Results of the Pivot of the wrist rotation.

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Vol. 6, No.1, April 2003

Figure 6: Movements of pen-tip based on the Cartesian coordinates or the polar coordinates.

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The International Journal of Forensic Document Examiners

Figure 7: Mapping of static posture at the writing position.

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