Computer Science and Engineering, Department of


First Advisor

Peter Z. Revesz

Date of this Version


Document Type



K. V. R. Rao, A Sign-to-Speech Translation System, MS Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, January 1993.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Computer Science, Under the Supervision of Professor Peter Z. Revesz. Lincoln, Nebraska: January, 1993

Copyright 1993 Koka Veera Raghava Rao


This thesis describes sign-to-speech translation using neural networks. Sign language translation is an interesting but difficult problem for which neural network techniques seem promising because of their ability to adjust to the user's hand movements, which is not possible to do by most other techniques. However, even using neural networks and artificial sign languages, the translation is hard, and the best-known system, that of Fels & Hinton (1993), is capable of translating only 66 root words and 203 words including their conjugations. This research improves their results to 790 root signs and 2718 words including their conjugations while preserving a high accuracy (i.e., over 93 %) in translation. The use of matcher neural networks (Revesz 1989, 1990) and asymmetric Hamming distances are the key sources of improvement. This research aims at providing a means of communication for deaf people.

Adviser: Peter Z. Revesz