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Handwritten signature verification is the process of confirming the identity of a user based on his or her handwritten signature. Automatic handwritten signature verification is not a new problem. Many early research attempts were reviewed in the survey papers, e.g., [Plamondon and Lorette 1989; Leclerc and Plamondon 1994]. The primary advantage that signature verification has over other types of biometric technologies is that signature is already the most widely accepted biometric for identity verification. The long history of trust over signature verification means that people are very willing to accept a signature-based biometric authentication system.

However, there has not been any major international effort that aims at comparing different signature verification methods systematically. As common benchmark databases and benchmarking rules are often used by researchers in such areas as information retrieval and natural language processing, researchers in biometrics increasingly see the need for such common benchmarks for comparative studies. For example, fingerprint verification competitions were organized twice (FVC2000 and FVC2002) to attract participants from both academia and industry to compare their algorithms objectively. As inspired by these efforts, we are organizing the first international competition on handwritten signature verification. We intend to make this an important event for both academics and industrialists working in this challenging area.

[Leclerc and Plamondon 1994] F. Leclerc and R. Plamondon. Automatic signature verification: the state of the art 1989-1993. International Journal of Pattern Recognition and Artificial Intelligence, 8(3):643-660, 1994.

[Plamondon and Lorette 1989] R. Plamondon and G. Lorette. Automatic signature verification and writer identification the state of the art. Pattern Recognition, 22(2):107-131, 1989.

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