A data-driven robotic Chinese calligraphy system using convolutional auto-encoder and differential evolution

Xingen Gao, Changle Zhou, Fei Chao, Longzhi Yang, Chih-Min Lin, Tao Xu, Changjing Shang, Qiang Shen

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23 Citations (SciVal)
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The Chinese stroke evaluation and generation systems required in an autonomous calligraphy robot play a crucial role in producing high-quality writing results with good diversity. These systems often suffer from inefficiency and non-optima despite of intensive research effort investment by the robotic community. This paper proposes a new learning system to allow a robot to automatically learn to write Chinese calligraphy effectively. In the proposed system, the writing quality evaluation subsystem assesses written strokes using a convolutional auto-encoder network (CAE), which enables the generation of aesthetic strokes with various writing styles. The trained CAE network effectively excludes poorly written strokes through stroke reconstruction, but guarantees the inheritance of information from well-written ones. With the support of the evaluation subsystem, the writing trajectory model generation subsystem is realized by multivariate normal distributions optimized by differential evolution (DE), a type of heuristic optimization search algorithm. The proposed approach was validated and evaluated using a dataset of nine stroke categories; high-quality written strokes have been resulted with good diversity which shows the robustness and efficacy of the proposed approach and its potential in autonomous action-state space exploration for other real-world applications
Original languageEnglish
Article number104802
JournalKnowledge-Based Systems
Early online date09 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2019


  • Convolutional auto-encoder
  • Data-driven evaluation model
  • Differential evolution
  • Robotic Chinese calligraphy


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