I want to use the MNIST dataset to teach my neural network to recognise numbers. My problem is: The data I am working with is "european". What i mean by that is: the seven always has a dash (it often has a dash in MNIST too so that is more unlikely to cause a problem) and more importantly: the 1 is always written with this hook in Europe, whereas Americans tend to use a straight line (almost 100% of MNIST 1s are a straight line). So it seems to me that training on MNIST can cause problems. Have you ever ran into that problem? And if so, how did you solve it? I haven't found good solutions online.


for sure this is too late for you but as i used mnist some days ago and could not get good results for my own handwriting... maybe someone else is in search for a solution:

MNIST does represent american handwriting and will not achive good results in recognition of european writing.

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  • $\begingroup$ source might be helpful $\endgroup$ – oW_ Mar 30 at 23:24
  • $\begingroup$ Hey! Thanks for the comment. Do you have a solution yet? $\endgroup$ – tömmel Mar 31 at 19:06
  • $\begingroup$ after i realized that my net does not beat ~ 66% performance i plottet a random load of numbers from mnist_train and could clearly see that the handwriting all in all is different to the European style. so just a bit of google... as mnist was created by american high-school students and employees of the us census bureau it's very origin is america and american handwriting. wiki for mnist $\endgroup$ – bitdruid Apr 2 at 18:42
  • $\begingroup$ How do you do if you use the same architecture but mix in your personal handwriting with the training data, too, so the model has some exposure to it? $\endgroup$ – Dave Aug 30 at 14:12

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