ISSN : 1796-2048
Volume : 4    Issue : 2    Date : April 2009

Multi-pen Sketch Recognition in a Learning Environment
Liam Don and Ioannis Ivrissimtzis
Page(s): 80-86
Full Text:
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Virtual physics environments are becoming increasingly popular as a teaching tool for high school
level mechanical physics. While useful, these tools often offer a complex user interface, lacking the
intuitive nature of the traditional whiteboard. Furthermore, the systems are often too advanced to be
used by novice students for further experimentation. In this paper we describe a physics learning
environment using multicolour sketch recognition techniques on digital whiteboards. The
recognition system is based on a combination of Support Vector Machines and rule based
methods. By assigning the various drawing modes to different physical drawing pens, we can
resolve several ambiguities appearing in single pen sketching interfaces. Moreover, we argue that
we can reduce the cognitive load of the user by exploiting the physical realisation of drawing modes
in the form of drawing pens, instead of using textual descriptions of the modes on the screen. The
system was tested using a constructive interaction method, with users completing a set task; first in
a multi-pen drawing environment, and then for comparison purposes in a singlepen equivalent.

Index Terms
pen-centric computing; sketch recognition; multi-pen digital drawing environment; support vector