Authors: Ch. Rakesh, G. Madhumitha, S. Meghana, T. Sahithi Niharika, M. Rohith, Ajay Ram. K
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Sign language is the efficacious medium that connects silent people and the world, and there are many significant existing sign languages across the globe. A lot of research is done to compromise the borders of difficulty in the communication between silent and normal person and most of them are based on ASL (American Sign Language). The aspiration for bridging the gap between silent people and normal people in terms of communication using ISL (Indian Sign Language) led to unfold this project. It functions as a two-way sign translator that is the conversion of sign to text and contrariwise. It recognizes various poses as well as gestures and returns appropriate results. The designed translator predicts the sign with an accuracy of 88 percent in real-time and was trained to recognize 15 actions using LSTM and MediaPipe. The text to sign translator works up to paragraph level using NLP.
There are approximately 70 million silent people across the world and most of them are illiterate and communicate using signs. The nonverbal communication used by silent people is called sign language, and it is comprised of various gestures, each gesture has its meaning. These gestures are used to express their thoughts and feelings. There is a wide range of sign languages each having their own importance and significance. In Indian sign language both hands along with facial expressions are used to express a gesture. These gestures are to be understood by vision. The performance of the recognition system is a significant factor that cannot be ignored. And the performance mostly depends on the classifier as also the feature extraction method. So, a careful combination of classifier and extraction methods is to be considered to obtain optimal solutions.
The proposed model is a two-way translator and has two modules, one each for the translation of sign to text and the translation of text to sign. In the text to sign module, the text is taken from the user, it is processed using NLP, and the respective sign video is returned. And in the sign to text module, the input can be either uploading a file or enacting before the webcam, the appropriate text for the sign is displayed using LSTM, MediaPipe and OpenCV. In order to communicate signers mostly use dynamic signs. To translate the dynamic gestures with time-series video we have chosen LSTM as it is good at processing sequences of data. This proposed model can translate up-to word level in the sign to text module and up-to paragraph level in the text to sign module.
Our work is predominantly on Indian sign language as it is mostly used sign language in our nation and research to a great extent is done and yet there is no proper data set or fixed stature for the Indian sign language. There are many factors that influence the performance and accuracy of the model like hand movement, illumination, pose, occlusion, background information and noise. These also effects in the building of a robust system that could give high accuracy in the real time.
II. LITERATURE REVIEW
This literature survey states various existing systems on the translation of the sign to text and vice versa using various methods. These works are broadly classified into two kinds one is hardware based and the other is vision based. In hardware-based model a hardware is used as a medium. In vision-based camera is used as a medium and respective model is built.
A. Hardware Based
In . Ebey Abraham and team worked on a wireless Data Gloves that are designed for sign language. This glove uses a combination of flex sensors and gyroscope and an accelerometer to read data. Bluetooth is used to transmit the data to the respective device. The main drawback of this work is that one always must wear a glove and if there are any hardware failures it would give wrong predictions
B. Vision Based
In  Britta and team described relevant features for video recognition which is based on continuous density Hidden Markov Models (HMM). Limitations of their work is that the sign is affected by the preceding and the subsequent sign, Movements of the finger, like shifting in one direction or rotating around the body axis, must be considered which is difficult to consider and sign boundaries are automatically deleted. Wuyang Qin and his team developed a model for sign language in . This model is a recognition framework based on VTN. This model takes an isolated word as an input and trains the model and saves it for later use. The continuous extraction module is the sign language module that stores the relevant data in the model. Limitations of this work are shortcomings in the recognition of similar signs or actions and the extraction of long-sequence key frames needs to be improved. In . Ankita Wadhawan and his team built a model based on CNN architecture for communication between speech-impaired and normal people. This model has a total of 4 phases which are data acquisition, image processing, training, and testing the CNN classifier. In the data acquisition phase, the data is collected using a camera and in the next phase the collected data is processed in the later phase, the processed data is trained using the CNN classifier lastly the results are obtained. The limitations of this work are that it is confined to recognise only static images.
In . Poonam Yerpude and her team worked on a sign detector model for the detection of ISL alphabets and numbers (from 1 to 10) . CNN algorithm and OpenCV are used throughout this system. The main drawbacks of this work are that it is trained under certain conditions like camera apparatus and lighting conditions, and the model is only limited to recognizing static alphabet signs and number signs. Advaith Sridhar and his team worked on large datasets in . A single-color video camera is used for image recording. The size and quality of the dataset enable the exploration of deep models for Sign Language Recognition on ISL. They also presented a comparison of multiple deep-learning models and identified a model that achieves high accuracy. The limitations are that they have used an open pose that has about 135 key points for the extraction of data. Because of low key points, this cannot give more information about facial expressions, but facial expressions also play a key role in Sign Language. All the existing systems are limited to recognize the alphabet, number and static image level signs and have shortcomings like background conditions , using hardware all the time.
This system has two modules one can translate text to sign and the other sign to text , the research is mainly focused on facilitating communication between normal and silent person.
A. Text to Sign
The text to sign conversion is done using Lemmatization in NLTK library where the given text is processed and base words are fetched. Initially, the given text is split into words by using the inbuilt tokenizer in NLTK library. Then the words are processed using the Lemmatization procedure to fetch the base words. The database is searched for respective sign videos. These fetched sign videos are concatenated using the inbuilt function in python MoviePy library. Finally, the concatenated video is displayed as output. The process is depicted in Fig. 1.
C. Sign to Text
We extend our gratitude towards Ch. Rakesh sir, without whose motivation and guidance, this project would not have been possible. His constant efforts to enhance this system have proved to be invaluable throughout the project. We are also thankful to Dr. T. Siva Rama Krishna sir, HOD (Department of Computer Science and Engineering) for their valuable guidance.
The proposed model is a two-way Indian Sign Language translator and has two modules, one each for the translation of sign to text and text to sign. The overall system can bridge the communication gap between silent and normal people. The web interface is user friendly and interactive. In the text to sign module, the text is taken from the user and undergoes lemmatization process and returns the appropriate sign for the text given. And in the sign to text module, we have made a custom dataset using OpenCV and MediaPipe and trained LSTM model to predict the sign meaning when sign video is given which predicts the sign with 88 percent accuracy. The proposed system can translate up-to word level i.e., can process video sequences in any background conditions in the sign to text module and up-to paragraph level in the text to sign module. Due to the limited size of the custom dataset, there are a few wrong predictions for similar signs while translating sign to text, the proposed model can be further enhanced by increasing the size of the dataset which will help the model to learn more efficiently.
 Ebey Abraham, Akshatha Nayak, Ashna Iqbal “Real-Time Translation of Indian Sign Language using LSTM” in 2019 Global Conference for Advancement in Technology (GCAT) Bangalore, India. Oct 18-20, 2019.  Britta Bauer; Hermann Hienz “Relevant Features for Video-Based Continuous Sign Language Recognition” , in Proceedings Fourth IEEE International Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition (Cat. No. PR00580) , Grenoble, France , 2002.  Wuyang Qin; Yuming Chen; Yanyin Yao; Xue Mei; Qihang Zhang; Shi Hu “ Sign Language Recognition and Translation Method based on VTN” in 2021 International Conference on Digital Society and Intelligent Systems (DSInS) IEEE , Chengdu, China , 2021.  Ankita Wadhawan ; Parteek Kumar “Deep learning-based sign language recognition system for static signs” Springer in 2020.R. E. Sorace, V. S. Reinhardt, and S. A. Vaughn, “High-speed digital-to-RF converter,” U.S. Patent 5 668 842, Sept. 16, 1997.  Poonam Yerpude ; Pratiksha Jagat; Reema Sahu; Palash Dubey “Non-Verbal (Sign Language) To Verbal Language Translator Using Convolutional Neural Network” in IJRASET 2022.  Advaith Sridhar, Rohith Gandhi Ganesan Pratyush Kumar Mitesh Khapra “A Large-Scale Dataset for Indian Sign Language Recognition” in Proceedings of the 28th ACM International Conference on Multimedia , New York, United States , October 2020.  https://youtu.be/doDUihpj6ro  https://zulko.github.io/moviepy/  https://www.tensorflow.org/api_docs/python/tf/keras
Copyright © 2023 Ch. Rakesh, G. Madhumitha, S. Meghana, T. Sahithi Niharika, M. Rohith, Ajay Ram. K. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.